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Published on April 15th, 2016 | by CCAT

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News Updates for April 2016

A selection of various news items from around the UK  April 2016

Modern slavery: ignorance is no longer an excuse

Changes to the Modern Slavery Act 2015, brought in to force companies to eradicate all traces of forced labour – not only from their own business but every supplier they buy from – are set to have a massive, unprecedented impact on small companies.

The new legislation was designed to make big businesses thoroughly audit their supply chains and has been introduced after terrifying discoveries of modern slavery, as close to home as Yorkshire. It is estimated that between 21 million and 39 million people worldwide are victims of modern slavery.

 

Modern slavery statements duty comes into force

This month the duty on large employers to publish a slavery and human trafficking statement comes into force. Under section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, commercial organisations with an annual turnover of at least £36m and with a financial year ending on or after today’s date, must publish an anti-slavery statement each financial year.

The Government has stipulated in the legislation, which was passed last October, that the statement should be published “as soon as reasonably practicable” after the end of the financial year.

 

Trafficking fear as children allowed to use electronic passport gates for the first time

Children are being sent through electronic passport gates at British airports for the first time, prompting fears the fight against child trafficking will be undermined, leaked documents reveal.

The Home Office has approved a pilot scheme which allows children as young as 12 to use the “eGates” which automatically scan passports and compares them with biometric features of the traveller’s face. It means passengers who use the eGates can enter Britain without any human interaction with border guards.

 

SMEs unaware of Modern Slavery Act

Small and medium sized businesses are unaware of the cascading impact the Modern Slavery Act has on them, the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) has said.

Research by the institute found that 61 per cent of SME’s surveyed were entirely unaware of the new legislation, which comes into force on 1st April.

 

‘We are hopeful now’: brothers freed from slavery seek British policy change

Edgaras and Edvinas Subatkis spent most of their time walking. If it rained they would spend a few hours in the library. During the day, they slept on benches or under bridges, but at night they kept walking.

The two Lithuanian brothers thought their nightmare had come to an end when they were rescued by the authorities from forced labour in English food factories. But since then they endured a period of five months living on the streets of a northern city while waiting to be key witnesses in the eventual successful prosecution of their traffickers.

 

Sex workers flocking to Aberdeen for oil-rich clients

The sex trade in Aberdeen has exploded in recent years – with far fewer prostitutes working on the streets, but many more escorts drawn by the city’s oil-rich reputation. A growing number of websites which allow women to advertise their services and availability in the city have also appeared online.

On one website alone, there are around 100 women selling sex on any given day in Aberdeen for upwards of £100 an hour.


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