The tragic and mindless killings by a fascist far-right terrorist in New Zealand last week has brought much sorrow. The Commons held an Urgent Question to ensure that our government is doing all it can to support our long standing ally New Zealand.
I used this opportunity to raise my hopes that the UK’s current chairing of the Commonwealth Heads of Government will be used to work with all members to ensure we put pressure on companies such as Facebook and Google to take down any terrorist propaganda or heinous videos.
I was pleased that the Minister took my question to heart and will be investigating how he can achieve this goal.
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.
Modern slavery is a despicable crime that sees people forced into servitude from around the world. When I was shadow minister at the Home Office I was on the bill committee which debated and amended the Modern Slavery Act through the Commons. It was a welcomed first step, but at the time I was adamant that more could have been done to ensure that greater protections were put into law.
I am currently a member of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association – an group whereby parliaments from across the Commonwealth can meet and share ideas. We have recently worked with the Home Office to produce a report and guide to help our sister parliaments tackle this horrible crime. I hope that the minister will work with us to ensure that as many countries in the world adopt modern slavery laws.