Home Secretary Amber Rudd has announced an investment of £6 million in ambitious projects to tackle modern slavery around the world and provide vital support for victims.
The first Modern Slavery Innovation Fund awards will be shared by 10 organisations working to eradicate the crime, particularly in countries from which victims are trafficked to the UK.
It will help pay for projects to stop child slavery in factories supplying products to this country and work to identify and disrupt key human trafficking routes to the UK used by organised crime gangs.
Direct interventions will help support vulnerable victims, bring those responsible to justice, and improve local law enforcement responses to slavery. The investment will also fund crucial research into this global issue and will help raise awareness in key hotspots to prevent exploitation.
Ms Rudd announced the successful bidders while speaking at a RUSI event today (Wednesday 15 March) on the role of financial institutions in tackling human trafficking.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd said:
Modern slavery is a global human rights outrage that casts a dark shadow around the world.
This barbaric crime affects every country and this funding will protect those who risk being trafficked to our shores or who suffer intolerable cruelty to make the products we buy.
The UK is leading the international response but we can’t do it alone – it is imperative the world unites and strives to end slavery together.
The global trade in humans has been estimated to cost $150 billion a year, with 45.8 million victims of slavery around the world and 10,000 to 13,000 in the UK.
The £6 million is the first investment from the £11 million Modern Slavery Innovation Fund announced by the Home Secretary last year. The fund forms part of £33.5 million of overseas aid funding set aside to support the UK’s lead in the global fight against modern slavery.
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 and the government has continued to act.
Last summer, the Prime Minister announced that she will chair a modern slavery task force that will focus on the law enforcement response, and the Home Secretary instructed Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary to carry out a detailed inspection of the police response.
In October, the Home Secretary also 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.