On 18 July, the British Parliament passed the Illegal Migration Bill. This came after months of opposition from civil society, academics, international organisations, and advocates from the UK and around the world. As we informed earlier, the government will now be detaining and removing people who arrive in the country by “illegal means”. This will mean that a large number of victims of trafficking will be detained and removed too. Despite this setback, LSI members Anti-Slavery International (ASI) and Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX), well as other human rights advocates, are not giving up.
ASI described the passing of the bill as a “rallying cry” and urged everyone to “fight for a system that can support victims and survivors, that is founded in compassion, and managed with competence”. FLEX called the bill “devastating” and “unworkable” because it will “drive large numbers of people underground”. It vowed to “continue to work for the implementation of policies which address the structural causes of exploitation, and which support people to challenge abuse or exploitation”.
Both members also signed a statement of 290 organisations who reconfirmed their commitment to fight “for the right for people to seek safety and a better life” and “alongside everyone who makes the UK their home”.