Modern Slavery legislation has upgraded modern slavery into a serious crime and has had the added effect of encouraging prosecutions at the expense of caring for victims.
We have seen it all before, only in a different context. In the war on drugs, capturing cartel kingpins is seen as the unequivocal sign of success, whilst improving support to addicts should be the focus.
eLamb are proud to say we help companies shine the light on Modern Slavery but with only 4.9 per cent of the compensation being awarded to victims, as The Times has recently claimed it seems a bitter pill to swallow that captors are punished but victims are “forgotten”.
Unless we support victims of modern slavery, they will be less likely to come forward to report it.
The Lithuanian men forced to work as modern slaves at egg farms recently settled their claim for more than £1 million, but others may read their story and give up before they get started.
For four long years they had to remember and relive their experiences in the form of testimony before receiving any compensation.
Financial compensation is essential to any effort to let victims of slavery get their lives back on track. However, if the figures from The Times are correct, the government has taken ten times more than victims from the compensation pot.
Of the £3.1 million paid out by slave-owners so far, victims have received £156,000. This is dwarfed by the £1.5 million the government has been given. In the absence of justification, an imbalance as great as this looks suspicious. So, we have a right to know: where is that money being spent?