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.
The Home Secretary came to the House on Monday to explain what action he had been taking when people we found to be trying to enter the UK through small boats in the English Channel.
I wanted the Home Secretary to tell us how leaving important security measures, such as SIS 2 – a monitoring service we are a member of by being in the EU – will benefit us. It was no surprise that the Home Secretary completely ignored this point and decided to give information on arrests at home.
Modern Slavery is growing around the world and if we do not work with our friends and allies we will be unable to free people from traffickers and the horrors of a life in slavery. The Government must rethink their plans if they don’t they will put people at risk.
As part of my role as Chair of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Modern Slavery Project I brought together members of Commonwealth parliaments and key stakeholders in the battle against modern slavery. In particular the deeply concerning use of bogus orphanages to syphon money and resources away from the needy.
The meeting was arranged to coincide with the Commonwealth heads of government in London.
An estimated 8 million children live in orphanages and other institutions across the world. More than 80 years of research has demonstrated that children raised in institutions are more likely to suffer life-long physical and psychological harm and experience dramatically reduced life chances.
Over 80 percent of children in institutions are not ‘orphans’ and have at least one living parent. Poverty, disability, and marginalization tear children from their families. Institutions often promise food, shelter and education – yet these promises are rarely delivered. There is a growing body of evidence highlighting how many children are being exploited: trafficked in and out of institutions, becoming victims of modern slavery. Read more “Modern Slavery: Orphanages”