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Britain is regarded a leader in the global fight against human trafficking since passing the landmark Modern Slavery Act in 2015. RENATE members involved in advocacy and campaigning across Europe see that it has inspired countries from Australia to the Netherlands considering similar action.

The latest country to be inspired is Hong Kong, where Lawmaker Dennis Kwok said he will table a private member’s bill modelled after Britain’s Modern Slavery Act to the city’s legislature in July 2018, to clean up its “very bad” record.

“As an international financial centre, we believe Hong Kong has an important role to play on this subject which affects 40 million people around the world,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from Hong Kong, suggesting Hong Kong could clamp down on the $150 billion in profits generated by traffickers around the globe each year.

This links in with recurring calls in recent times to ‘’follow the money,’’ when it comes to human trafficking, citing it as a multi-billion dollar business, now earning more than the drugs trade and armaments.  

Recommendations in the bill include life sentences for traffickers, compelling firms to report whether their supply chains are free from slavery, and gives enforcement officers wider investigation power.

A 2016 study by the Justice Centre showed one in six migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong were victims of forced labour. According to the Global Slavery Index 2016 by the charity Walk Free Foundation, some 29,500 people are living in modern slavery in Hong Kong.  

Full report at: http://news.trust.org/item/20180426081528-pzpwh/

Courtesy Thomas Reuters Foundation & adapted by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

 

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