Modern Day Slavery In The UK - Academic Paper

3207 words - 13 pages


Slavery in the United Kingdom has been deemed illegal in common law, since the sixteenth
century. The first case to establish that slavery in England was illegal was confirmed in the case
of Somerset v Stewart (1772)1 by Lord Mansfield. Slavery is defined by the case Siliadin v
France (2006)2 as the status or condition of a person over whom any or all of the powers
attaching to the right of ownership are exercised. As it is quite obvious that slavery and human
trafficking is a massive global issue, in which cases, punishments and prevention orders are
implemented as deterrence. Modern Slavery Act of 2015 is enacted to fight against slavery in the
United Kingdom and works to create a deterrence for future offenders of human trafficking and
slavery. Throughout this essay there will be discussion and explanation of the Modern Slavery
Act 2015, followed by personal evaluation and legal arguments both of the positives and
negatives, contrary to whether the Act is currently up to par or is need of a reform.
Slavery is defined by the Modern Slavery Act 2015 as the offence is committed when the
person requires another person to perform forced or compulsory labour and the circumstances
are such that the person knows or ought to know that the other person is being required to
perform forced or compulsory labour. The Act also states slavery is when a person holds
another person in slavery or servitude and the circumstances are such that the person knows or
ought to know the other person is held in slavery. Article 4 of the Human Rights Convention is
infringed upon a persons rights when held in slavery or servitude. Specifically, Article 4(1) bans
slavery and servitude and Article 4(2) stops forced and compulsory labour.

Human trafficking is defined by the Act as a person is to commit an offence if they arrange or
facilitate the travel of another person with a view of the other person being exploited. The Act it
self was brought forward in the House of Commons in October 2013 by James Brokenshire and
was officially made law on March 26th 2015. As quoted in the article by Heloise Wood Old
Bexley and Sidcup MP James Brokenshire announces plans to help end human trafficking by
James B. stating that the Modern Slavery Bill will send the strongest possible message to
criminals that if you are involved in this disgusting trade in human being, you will be arrested,
you will be prosecuted and you will be locked up. It entails offences, penalties, sentencing,
defences, legal aid, child trafficking advocates, guidance and regulations about identifying and
supporting victims. It prevents slavery, forced labour, human trafficking and domestic servitude
to protect the victims of these practices. The Act also has created the office of Independent Anti-
Slavery Commissioner.

The Modern Slavery Act of 2015 entails offences such as slavery, servitude, forced labour and

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