UK aid to help over half a million people at risk of slavery

Penny Mordaunt
Secretary of State, Penny Mordaunt meets with victims in Bangladesh

The International Development Secretary, Penny Mordaunt, today (1) pledged a £40 million package of UK aid to help tackle modern slavery, both in the UK and abroad.

Ahead of the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery on Saturday (2), the funds are set to help over 500,000 vulnerable men, women and children around the world who have either survived modern slavery or are at risk of becoming victims, including South Asia and Africa.

Both are source continents for trafficking to the UK.

Penny Mordaunt said: “The continued trade in human beings is a global disgrace – and simply not enough is being done to tackle it.

“It is time to eradicate this shameful practice. Slavery, anywhere, must not be tolerated in the 21st century, and our work to stamp out this practice abroad will support our effort to end slavery in the UK. This is a long term challenge and others must follow our lead.”

The announcement comes after Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech at the UN General Assembly on a global Call To Action, urging world leaders to demonstrate their condemnation for modern slavery, human trafficking and labour exploitation, with 40 countries having signed up, including Bangadesh and Nepal.

“I met with victims of this horrendous crime during my time in Bangladesh who had been exploited and abused who we are now supporting, and it is absolutely right that we protect vulnerable men, women and children from being duped into imprisonment, domestic servitude and forced labour,” Mordaunt added.

£13 million of the total fund will be allocated to prevent trafficking and forced labour among women migrant workers from South Asia, which has the highest prevalence of forced labour globally, as part of the second phase of the Work in Freedom programme.

A further £20 million will contribute to the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery, while the remaining £7 million will be used to support Nigeria in creating alternative livelihoods for victims to ensure they are not forced into a life of trafficking.