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Govt needs to make ending slavery a priority, says Christian human rights group

A Christian human rights organisation has urged the general public to join in efforts to abolish modern-day slavery.

David Westlake, chief executive of International Justice Mission made the plea following the omission of a reading for a proposed bill on protecting victims of modern day slavery on Friday in parliament.

The Modern Slavery (Victim Support) bill has been introduced by Lord McColl in the House of Lords and also sponsored by Iain Duncan Smith MP.

 

Westlake said the bill would give victims time to resolve complex immigration or refugees cases before facing deportation.

Explaining why MPs weren't able to debate the details of the bill, Westlake explained to Premier: "It's not a government bill at the moment - it relies on a very small amount of parliamentary time.

"Today the bill is number 15 on the list of backbench bills to be considered so it's not going to get read today."

The government has already committed £200 million of UK aid funding to tackle modern slavery but many say this bill needs to be passed as soon as possible.

More than 50 MPs, Lords and clergy signed a letter in The Times which called for the government to "lend it's full support to the bill before it runs out of time".

Westlake added: "What this bill actually does is increase the level of support for someone.

"It doesn't let them stay indefinitely; it doesn't kind of say that 'this is an easy way in for beating immigration' but it says 'you can stay here while we sort things out, while we help you back on your feet' and that's really important."

Listen to David Westlake, chief executive of International Justice Mission speaking with Premier's Eno Adeogun: 

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