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Generosity and compassion of modern slavery regime “being abused”

Home Secretary Suella Braverman told the Justice and Home Affairs Committee that people are gaming the system.

Legislative changes to the Modern Slavery Act are incoming as the government seeks to prevent individuals abusing the system. 

Speaking to the Justice and Home Affairs Committee, Suella Braverman outlined that in recent months the generosity and compassion of the modern slavery regime has been abused. 

“[This leads to] unintended consequences,” she said. 

“[Which] undermine out ability to serve genuine victims of modern slavery because the system has been overwhelmed by people who are gaming the system.

“It’s undermining our ability to secure our border and it’s undermining our ability to return people who don’t have a right to the UK.” 

She continued to say that this viewpoint was backed up by first hand accounts of those on the front line in Border Force - including Tony Smith, the former Director General of Border Force. 

Ms Braverman added: “There are now a number of cases of foreign national offenders, serious criminals who have been here for many years, have several convictions, they've served several custodial sentences. We want to remove them and literally or generally at the 11th hour they will put in a claim about trafficking or modern slavery. 

“A common sense view must be that that is to thwart their removal, if someone has been here for 15 years.

“I think when it comes to the timing of the claims, actually that is a relevant factor by people who want to thwart their removal.” 

Details of the intended legislative changes were not given during this meeting. 

Ms Braverman was asked what stage the appointment of a new Anti-Slavery Commissioner was at, given the most recent left the post in April. 

However the Committee were told they would be written to with an update. 

Baroness Hamwee rounded off the debate saying: “Every system is going to be abused to some extent. 

“It’s a pity to tar genuine claimants with the brush that the majority fall into that category.” 

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