In Scotland right now, potentially the world’s ‘most innovative and comprehensive’ anti-slavery laws are up for discussion in parliament. An unprecedented action plan is on the table that outlines tough penalties for offenders and a new system of support for survivors. This could also be used to inspire other modern slavery laws around the world.
Although a wide range of activists, lawyers, academics and policy-makers are united in support of this proposal,  this anti-slavery law currently hangs in the balance.
The next stage is perhaps the most critical yet to ensure this ambitious proposal becomes law. The Scottish Government now has the chance to have its say and has the option of vetoing the proposal, stopping this game-changing initiative dead in its tracks.
However, the Scottish Government can also waive its right to veto, meaning the Scottish Human Trafficking Bill will be on the final stretch to becoming law. If enough of us speak out, we can get the Scottish Government to do the right thing and join us in support of this proposal to tackle modern slavery.
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill is the Scottish Government minister who has the power to decide the fate of the Scottish Human Trafficking Bill. It’s vital that we show there is strong support for tough laws to tackle modern slavery in Scotland.
Call on the Scottish Government to support model anti-slavery law in Scotland.
You have been outspoken in the past about the need to tackle the ‘abhorrent crime’ of modern slavery, stating that ‘it’s totally unacceptable in this day and age that victims continue to be exploited for forced labour, sex or domestic servitude’.
I agree, which is why your support for the proposed Human Trafficking Bill in Scotland is so important. The proposal on the table would:
* Establish a ‘Survivors Service’ to identify, assist and seek justice for victims.
* Ensure stronger penalties for traffickers and those that help them.
* Make special provisions for the child victims of trafficking, including allocating an expert guardian to fight for their rights.
Strong legislation is an important first step in tackling modern slavery and I hope that Scotland will lead the way on this issue.