Home Secretary Amber Rudd will today pledge £11 million to a dedicated Modern Slavery Innovation Fund, set up to tackle the horrendous crime in high-risk countries from which victims are trafficked to the UK.
The announcement will be made in her speech this afternoon at the Santa Marta Conference in the Vatican, which brings together senior law enforcement chiefs, representatives from the Roman Catholic Church and civil society organisations to strengthen the global response to modern slavery and eliminate human trafficking.
The fund, which opens to bidders today, encourages organisations to come forward with innovative projects, which trial new approaches to tackling modern slavery in countries from which victims are trafficked.
To qualify, bidders must provide evidence their scheme would drive at least one of 6 key objectives set out by the Home Office: improve law enforcement, legislation and policy; reduce vulnerability to exploitation; aid victim support and recovery; improve global co-ordination; encourage responsible business and slavery-free supply chains; and enhance the evidence base.
Additionally, a further £3 million will also be available to bidders in a dedicated Child Trafficking Protection Fund to be used to protect vulnerable children overseas and within the UK who have the potential to be trafficked, and to prevent those who have been exploited from going missing and becoming victims again in the future.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd said:
Modern slavery is a global crime which demands an international response. Only by working together can we win the fight against this barbaric crime, which destroys the lives of the most vulnerable.
Britain has taken world-leading action to tackle modern slavery. We are determined to work with other governments around the world to eradicate slavery and send a message that it will not be tolerated.
As part of our ongoing commitment to tackle the scourge of modern slavery these funds, totalling £14 million, will help develop innovative approaches to support victims and bring perpetrators to justice.
The government’s world-leading Modern Slavery Act 2015 gave law enforcement new powers to tackle these crimes, introduced tougher sentences and increased protection for victims. But there is more to do.
Last week the Home Secretary set out the details of an £8.5 million fund to be used to support law enforcement agencies in tackling modern slavery, providing over 50 additional analysts, specialists and investigators who will assist the police in England and Wales to provide high quality intelligence and analysis to assess the threat at a national and regional level.
In July, the Prime Minister announced that she will chair a Modern Slavery Taskforce that will focus on the law enforcement response, and the Home Secretary instructed Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of the Constabulary to carry out a detailed inspection of the police response, which will begin later this year.
The investment comes from the £33.5 million of overseas aid funding the Prime Minister announced in July, to support the UK’s lead in the global fight against modern slavery, in recognition that it will require an international response to tackle this global crime.