The reality of modern day slavery

It’s a common myth that slavery is a thing of the past; an ancient matter consigned to the history books. But in reality millions across the globe are still forced to lead lives as slaves. The practice persists despite the fact it’s banned in most countries and outlawed by instruments including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And as we’ve seen this week it still rears its ugly head here at home.

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Article 4: No slavery or forced labour

In the 21st century the term ‘slavery’ is most commonly associated with William Wilberforce, the reforming British politician who lobbied for the abolition of the slave trade 200 years ago. But for many, far from being the stuff of history books and Hollywood films, slavery in modern Britain is a frightening reality.

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Slavery law Liberty lobbied for in action

Incredibly, up until April last year it wasn’t actually a criminal offence in this country to hold another person in slavery or servitude. Thanks in part to lobbying by Liberty, such modern day slavery was finally outlawed, with a new offence brought into English law through the Coroners and Justice Act 2009. This week, in London, we saw one of the first convictions under this new legislation that we campaigned so hard for.

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Former Director of Public Prosecutions, Ken MacDonald QC, joins with Liberty & Anti-Slavery International to push for slavery law

08 July 2009

Parliament is due to debate an amendment to the Coroners and Justice Bill tomorrow that will make servitude and forced labour an offence in the UK.

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