Equipping Christians for the General Election

Where do the main parties stand on human trafficking and sexual exploitation?
Public Affairs

Human trafficking, a form of modern day slavery, is one of the worst affronts to human dignity in our 21st century world. There are an estimated 45.8 million people in modern day slavery in the world. CARE campaigns for better anti-trafficking policy and legislation with particular focus on caring for victims and tackling the demand that sustains trafficking in the UK.

Exploitation within the sex industry affects some of the most vulnerable in our society.  Often it is a person’s lack of choice that forces them to ‘choose’ prostitution. CARE campaigns for changes in the law to address the demand for paid sex in the UK and to provide exit strategies to help people exit prostitution.

Follow these links for further information as to where CARE stands on issues of human trafficking and prostitution.

Below are extracts from the manifestos of the larger political parties relating to human trafficking and prostitution.

Alliance Party

Alliance will:

“Promote collaborative efforts to tackle global crimes which require an integrated national and international response. These include: human trafficking, fuel laundering and counterfeiting. We recognise that the profits from these crimes fund illegal organisations locally and globally.” (pg21)

Alliance will:

“Continue to support the fight against slave labour and human trafficking.” (pg34)

Conservative Party

The Conservative party promises to “lead the fight against modern slavery, just as we overcame the trade in slaves two hundred years ago. (pg. 38)

The Conservative party pledges to “work to end the subjugation and mutilation of women, to combat the brutal slave trade in fellow human beings and to prevent catastrophic environmental degradation.” (pg. 39)

They will “continue to lead global efforts to tackle sexual violence in conflict.” (pg. 39)

The Conservative party commits to “review the application of exploitation in the Modern Slavery Act to strengthen our ability to stop criminals putting men, women and children into criminal, dangerous and exploitative working conditions. And the UK will use its power to push the United Nations and other international bodies to make Modern Slavery a thing of the past.” (pg. 40-41)

Democratic Unionist Party

No comment

Green Party (England and Wales)

The Green Party promises to “implement a UK-wide strategy to tackle gender based violence, including domestic violence, rape and sexual abuse, FGM and trafficking.” (pg. 19)

In the separate manifesto for gender equality the Green Party also commits to the following:

“End criminalisation of the purchase and sale of sex.”

“Remove prosecutions for sex work from existing criminal records, enabling sex workers to seek alternative employment should they wish to do so”

“Have zero tolerance of coercion, violence or sexual abuse.  We will ensure that physically coerced sex trafficking and child prostitution remains illegal.” (Manifesto for Gender Equality pg. 4)

Green Party in Northern Ireland

The Green Party will “introduce a UK-wide strategy to tackle violence against women, including domestic and sexual violence and human trafficking.” (pg. 12)

Labour Party

“Labour will work with business to ensure the provisions of the Modern Slavery Act are fully respected, including reporting on due diligence in supply chains. We will extend the remit of the Groceries Code Adjudicator beyond direct suppliers to ensure fair treatment for all those producing goods for the UK’s largest supermarkets.” (pg. 123)

Labour “will ensure appropriate support is provided to victims of crime and introduce legislation for minimum standard entitlements to service from criminal justice agencies.” (pg.77)

“Labour will appoint a new commissioner to enforce minimum standards in tackling domestic and sexual violence. A Violence Against Women Commissioner would also provide stable central funding for women’s refuges and rape crisis centres and encourage sharing of best practice between local authorities.” (pg. 109-110)

Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats promise to “extend requirements on companies to strengthen responsibility for supply chains, focus on good practice in tackling modern slavery, including training for police and prosecutors in identifying and supporting victims, and implement the Ewins report recommendations on domestic workers.” (pg. 71)

The Liberal Democrats commit to “decriminalise the sale and purchase of sex, and the management of sex work – reducing harm, defending sex workers’ human rights, and focusing police time and resources on those groomed, forced or trafficked into the sex industry. We would provide additional support for those wishing to leave sex work.” (pg. 72)

The Liberal Democrats will “maintain, as part of our fight against hard Brexit, cross-border co-operation in combatting serious organised crime, including international fraud and child sexual exploitation, by retaining the European Arrest Warrant, membership of Europol and access to EU information databases.” (pg. 73)

The Liberal Democrats pledge to “provide government funding for a national rape crisis helpline with increased opening hours and advertisement.” (pg. 74)

The Liberal Democrats will “review the investigation, prosecution, procedures and rules of evidence in cases of sexual and domestic violence.” (pg. 76)

Plaid Cymru

No comment

Scottish Greens

No comment

Scottish National Party

“This year Dr Eilidh Whiteford became the first SNP MP to have a Private Member’s Bill pass at Westminster. The Bill requires the UK government to ratify the Istanbul Convention and take further action to eradicate domestic violence.”(pg. 4)

“The Bill will commit the UK government to funding essential services such as women’s refuges and rape crisis helplines. SNP MPs will ensure there is a clear timetable for that to happen.”(pg. 32)

Sinn Fein

No comment

Social Democratic and Labour Party

No comment

UKIP

UKIP reaffirms its 2015 Manifesto pledge to ‘prosecute all cases of adult sexual behaviour with under-age minors, and maintain the current age of consent.’ (pg. 41)

Ulster Unionist Party

No comment

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