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The Modern Slavery AgendaPolicy, Politics and Practice in the UK$
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Gary Craig, Alex Balch, Hannah Lewis, and Louise Waite

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781447346791

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447346791.001.0001

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The UK’s response to modern slavery: law, policy and politics

The UK’s response to modern slavery: law, policy and politics

(p.47) Two The UK’s response to modern slavery: law, policy and politics
The Modern Slavery Agenda

Ruth Van Dyke

Policy Press

The UK government has not been a world leader in terms of policy development in relation to modern slavery. This chapter explores the approaches underpinning policy and the agencies tasked with implementing the policy. It first examines the three different policy responses to human trafficking and forced labour: the criminalisation of modern slavery; the human rights approach to modern slavery; and regulatory mechanisms to protect workers' welfare and rights, from 2000 to now. It is suggested that there is an implementation gap between policy and practice caused by low levels of awareness, the priority attached to tackling modern slavery, inadequate organisational capacity, or a lack of resources. The chapter then focuses on the factors that influenced the development of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, describing some strengths and weaknesses. It concludes by looking to the future and exploring current policy concerns relative to the criminal justice response.

Keywords:   modern slavery, UK government, human trafficking, forced labour, human rights, workers' welfare, workers' rights, Modern Slavery Act 2015

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