The Minister for the Foreign Office delivered a statement to the Commons to mark Commonwealth Day.
I wanted to seek more assurances on the work that can be done to tackle Modern Slavery. The exploitation of another human being is disgusting and I am proud of the work we do at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association in sharing information between parliaments to bring this to an end.
I also wanted to know what action the UK Government is taking to promote Fairtrade as it is the best way to help people lift themselves out of poverty and earn a decent day’s pay for a decent day’s work.
As the vice-chair of the Commonwealth and Parliamentary Association (CPA), it was a pleasure to secure a debate on how we can utilise our connections within the Commonwealth to achieve our common goals and aims of eliminating poverty, climate change and modern slavery.
I used my speech to request that the UK Government, which currently is the chairing nation of the Commonwealth Head of Government’s Meeting (CHOGM) to give quarterly updates on progress they have achieved, with partner nations, to achieve our ambitions.
Within the CPA I chair a delegation working on tackling modern slavery. This is a heinous crime that happens throughout the world. Over 40 million people are in a form of modern slavery with over 70% of those in slavery being women.
The UK has introduced legislation to tackle modern slavery but we can still learn more from our partners in the Commonwealth. The CPA has been working with our allies to ensure that we can share experiences and build upon each others skills.
It is the responsibility of every nation to ensure that no one is trapped into modern slavery. It is a blight on humanity and ensures that human rights are eroded away. We must continue to work with our friends to bring this practice to an end and I am pleased that the CPA is doing its part and I hope the UK Government will continue to support us going forward.