DFiD pledges £40m to ‘stamp out’ modern slavery

1 Dec 17

The UK has vowed to “stamp out” modern slavery through a £40m aid package, the international development secretary has announced today.  

Penny Morduant, international development secretary The country’s efforts could over 500,000 men, women and children around the world, who have survived modern slavery or are at risk of becoming victims, Penny Mordaunt has said. 

She added: “The continued trade in human beings is a global disgrace – and simply not enough is being done to tackle it.

“It is time to eradicate this shameful practice.

“Slavery, anywhere, must not be tolerated in the 21st century, and our work to stamp out this practice abroad will support our effort to end slavery in the UK.”

The pledge would specifically address slavery and trafficking in countries with a high prevalence of these crimes in South Asia, as well as countries like Nigeria, which are source countries for trafficking to the UK. 

The aid package would include £13m for the Work in Freedom programme to prevent trafficking and forced labour among women migrant workers from South Asia and £20m to the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery. 

The remaining £7m Department for International Development aid would support Nigeria to focus on creating credible alternative livelihoods so people are not forced into “a life of trafficking”. 

This is in addition to the Home Office’s existing £5m support to improve law enforcement and justice systems in Nigeria.

According to the United Nations, more than 40 million people around the world were victims of modern slavery, including forced labour and forced marriage, in 2016.

Of that, about 25 million were in forced labour and 15 million in forced marriage - 29 million (71%) of the total being women and girls.

At the UN General Assembly earlier this year, prime minister Theresa May called on world leaders to step up against modern slavery, human trafficking and labour exploitation, which has been backed by 40 countries to this day. 

Mordaunt, who was appointed international development secretary after Priti Patel resigned, said last month the government’s aid department should justify its spending to the public in the same way charities do. 

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