To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to amend the Nationality and Borders Bill (1) to protect children who have been trafficked twice or more, (2) to support children who may have committed offences while suffering exploitation, and (3) to protect exploited foreign children by providing leave to remain of sufficient length to guard against further harm.
29 July 2021
Within the Nationality and Borders Bill, we are proposing modern slavery measures to deliver a decision-making process and support system that is fair and provides support for those who genuinely need it.
We recognise that some victims of modern slavery may have had periods of high vulnerability and can have multiple, complex needs, with some individuals experiencing multiple forms of exploitation at different points in time. The proposed measures within the Bill therefore rightly allow for protection and support for individuals subject to repeated exploitation, including child victims whilst seeking to ensure that further support is only provided where needed.
We remain committed to tackling exploitation in all its forms. The Modern Slavery Act 2015 gives law enforcement agencies the tools to tackle modern slavery, including a maximum life sentence for perpetrators and enhanced protection for victims. Where children are found to be potential victims of human trafficking or modern slavery their safety and welfare are addressed as a priority. Local authorities are responsible for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children in their area, including child victims of modern slavery. In addition to this statutory support, the Government has rolled out Independent Child Trafficking Guardians (ICTGs), an additional source of advice and support for all potentially trafficked children, in two thirds of all local authorities in England and Wales.
We will seek to put into legislation for the first time the commitment that all confirmed victims, including children, without immigration status will be considered for a grant of temporary leave to remain in line with specific criteria.
This will bring clarity to decision makers and victims on the process for temporary leave to remain. We will continue to comply with our duties under Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship, and Immigration Act 2009 to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.