Monday 10 July 2017
Welcome to the summary of the final day of the Modern Slavery Africa Regional Workshop. Day Three was an opportunity to look at the practicalities of implementing modern slavery legislation as well as the challenges and also to look forward to how, as parliamentarians, the delegates would put into practices some of the themes from the workshop.
UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner
The opening session on the final day began with a contribution from the UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Kevin Hyland OBE. Set up as a result of the Modern Slavery Act, the Anti-Slavery Commissioner’s role is to promote best practice and drive crucial improvement across the anti-slavery response, both in the UK and internationally.
Kevin Hyland highlighted the strategic goals of his role, which are to provide care for victims; enforce the law; promote partnerships; and encourage international collaboration. He went on to urge parliamentarians to act on issues of modern slavery as they are one of the few actors in society with the access and influence to free people from slavery. He also highlighted initiatives and resources such as the 8.7 Alliance and the ILO Protocol Ratification that can assist parliamentarians in these efforts.
The session then went on to discuss implementation in more detail, which was an issue that had been raised several times during the workshop.
The issues raised included using schools and civil society to raise awareness around human trafficking, particularly in rural areas; cultural stigmatisation around victims who may find themselves as outcasts and therefore less likely to champion the cause for change; and the lack of reporting due to corruption.
Again it was highlighted that with the political will and persistence parliamentarians could be agents for change in the eradication of trafficking and forced labour.
The discussion that followed touched on how parliamentarians can ensure their governments prioritise the issue of modern slavery as well as how the independence of an Anti-Slavery Commissioner can be ensured.
The following session was an opportunity to explore CPA UK’s Modern Slavery Project in more detail with delegates being encouraged to use it as a resource for support over the coming years and as they seek to combat these horrific crimes. Parliamentarians were informed about some of the ways in which support may be offered, which will include an online portal and e-Handbook as well as other areas where they may partner with CPA UK going forward.
To mark the completion of the workshop, delegates were awarded a certificate. The workshop was then officially closed by Hon. Bernice Heloo Adiku MP of Ghana who called on her colleagues from across the region to keep up the momentum and continue the fight against modern slavery as they return to their jurisdictions.
Thank you to all delegates and speakers who participated in the Modern Slavery Africa Regional Workshop. CPA UK looks forward to partnering with you in the future as it seeks to empower parliamentarians in the pursuit of combating modern slavery.