Slavery and Human Trafficking Regulations 2022

The Slavery and Human Trafficking (Definition of a Victim) Regulations came before the House on Monday 4 July 2022.

The Regulations define the terms “victim of slavery” and “victim of human trafficking” for the purposes of Part 5 of the Nationality and Borders Act 2022. These terms determine who can access protection and support through the National Referral Mechanism. 

The definitions in the Regulations narrow the definition of a victim in a way which could mean to vulnerable people being excluded from protection. They are not in alignment with international law such as European Convention against trafficking, and the Palermo Protocol. The Regulations raise the threshold for being classed as a victim, and define “exploitation” too rigidly. The number of prosecutions for trafficking is already too low compared with the number of identified victims. 

I voted against the Regulations, which were passed Ayes: 282 and Noes: 217.