Modern slavery and human trafficking
Birmingham City Council abhors the vile and brutal crime of Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking (MSHT) in which people are treated as commodities and exploited for criminal gain. The council will do everything in its power to work with West Midlands Police and other law enforcement agencies to help disrupt and bring to justice perpetrators of such crimes across the city.
The Modern Slavery Act 2015
The main legislation designed to tackle modern slavery is the Modern Slavery Act 2015 which was enacted in March 2015.
- consolidated and clarified existing modern slavery and human trafficking offences and increased the maximum sentences for committing these offences
- introduced slavery and trafficking prevention orders and slavery and trafficking risk orders – which can be used to disrupt activities by modern slavery perpetrators
- created the role of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner
- introduced support and protection for victims including a defence for victims of slavery or trafficking who commit an offence, measures on the presumption of age of child victims of modern slavery and introduced the role of Independent Child Trafficking Advocates
- introduced a requirement for certain businesses to produce and publish a modern slavery statement on what they are doing to tackle modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains.
In response to Section 54 of the Act which obliges business with a turnover above £36 million per annum to have transparency in their supply chain, Birmingham City Council agreed to voluntarily create a Modern Slavery Transparency Statement.
Birmingham City Council's response to modern slavery
In 2018 the council took a strong stand against Modern Slavery with a debate by the full council on this matter.
As a result Cabinet adopted a Declaration of Intent which outlines how the council propose to tackle this issue.
At the same time, in line with some of other cities and the United Nations Development Goal, Birmingham City Council signed a Pledge to become a Slavery Free Community.
These two documents illustrate the strength of the council’s desire to tackle this vile blight upon our society.