The Commonwealth Secretary General was reported yesterday saying that Her Majesty the Queen would like to see legislation similar to the 2015 Modern Slavery Act promoted in the 52 Commonwealth nations. Later this year, Commonwealth lawmakers will take part in a Legislative Drafting Seminar which will provide them with practical advice and support.

The Seminar, along with this new and engaging animation, is part of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK (CPA UK’s) Modern Slavery Project which links up parliamentarians from the Commonwealth to explore how best to combat modern slavery, human trafficking and forced labour.

The Project was established last year with funding from the Home Office. It has already organised regional workshops for the Africa and Asia-Pacific Regions.

Rt Hon. Frank Field MP who chaired the UK’s Modern Slavery Bill Evidence Review and has supported the Modern Slavery Project, stated:

“The Queen’s reported intervention offers a unique opportunity for countries like Britain to learn how other Commonwealth countries are combatting slavery as well as offering a chance to discuss how we’re trying similarly to achieve this objective.”

Tackling Modern Slavery in the Commonwealth

The new animation depicts the true story of Maria from West Africa, who finds herself trafficked to London. It demonstrates the interconnectedness of modern slavery – as well as the important role of parliamentarians in tackling it.

The Legislative Drafting Seminar will take place in the Houses of Parliament in London from 11-15 December 2017 and will bring together parliamentarians and bill drafters from different Commonwealth nations to help strengthen the development, drafting and amendment of modern slavery and human trafficking legislation.

CPA UK’s previous workshops on modern slavery involved MPs from Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and elsewhere. The Project has also seen engagement from around 65 UK parliamentarians and clerks, drawing on the knowledge and expertise of those involved in the passage of the UK Modern Slavery Act in 2015.

Leading Nigerian anti-slavery campaigner R Evon Idahosa, who attended the Africa Regional Workshop and provides the voiceover for the animation, stated:

“Modern slavery is a global pandemic that circumvents borders, gender, race and class in its mandate to consume human bodies, human rights and human dignity.

“Now is the time for all parliamentarians to collectively strengthen their resolve to interrupt this injustice and to amplify the voices of those silenced by this evil.”

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