UK steps up support to end modern slavery and child exploitation globally

16 Oct 2016 08:31 AM

UK will prioritise ending modern slavery and child exploitation around the world.

To mark the national day against slavery on October 18, International Development Secretary Priti Patel outlined an increase in support for women and girl refugees in Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon, and for vulnerable people at risk of trafficking on migration routes in North Africa and Europe.

The International Development Secretary echoed Prime Minister Theresa May at the United Nations General Assembly, as she called on the global community to go further and work faster to stop modern slavery and child exploitation.

Ms Patel has been named as a member of the first-ever Government taskforce on modern slavery, which will be chaired by the Prime Minister.

International Development Secretary Priti Patel said:

“The international response to modern slavery, human trafficking and child exploitation has been far too slow, which is why I am making eradicating these crimes a priority for my department.

“As a member of the first ever Government taskforce on modern slavery I will replicate the leadership already shown in the UK to work with international governments, multilaterals, civil society, religious leaders and businesses to stamp out modern slavery and end all forms of violence, abuse and exploitation against children.

“As a globally-engaged outward looking Britain we will keep our promises to the world’s poorest by protecting victims and ending these vile crimes for good.”

Child labour, both forced and not forced, involves close to 170 million children around the world, while 45 million people work in conditions of forced labour.

The Department for International Development will prioritise work with sectors including extractives, tourism and agribusiness to improve transparency in labour practices and supply chains around the world.

To improve the global response to modern slavery and child exploitation, the International Development Secretary is setting out:

The Secretary of State’s focus on this agenda builds on DFID’s existing work to tackle slavery and exploitation around the world. The department has already reached over 200,000 women in South Asia and the Middle East through the Work in Freedom programme which trains women in their communities and works with businesses and recruiters to tackle trafficking.

DFID will provide: