The Modern Slavery Act 2015, which received Royal Assent on 26 March 2015, is intended to provide law enforcement agencies with stronger legal tools to stamp out modern slavery, ensuring that the perpetrators receive suitably severe punishment, while enhancing the protection of, and support for victims.

The new Act consolidates and updates the existing criminal legislation on human trafficking, slavery, forced labour and domestic servitude and increases the maximum custodial sentence, for the most serious offences, from fourteen years to life. In addition, the legislation creates the post of Anti-Slavery Commissioner and places a duty on specified public authorities including local authorities to report potential victims of trafficking to the National Crime Agency.

This briefing will be of interest to elected members and officers working in social services and in particular children’s services. A copy of this briefing can be downloaded as a pdf.