Following the tragic deaths of the people in the back of the lorry in Essex, the Home Secretary delivered a statement to the House on what further action has been undertaken.
I was keen to press the Home Secretary on a report undertaken by the Chief Inspector of Ports and Borders in 2016. The report identified a number of failings that needed to be rectified – including increasing the number of checks on vehicles entering the UK through our smaller ports. I wanted assurances that the Home Office had reviewed that report and will be undertaking further examinations of what action can be taken.
It was good to hear that the Home Secretary knew the report I was enquiring about, but we need to see action accompany her words.
This week we learnt of the heartbreaking news that 39 people died in the back of a lorry and were only discovered in Essex at the end of the route. The suffering that these people must have faced is unimaginable.
The barbarism of those who trafficked these people, 28 adults and one teenager, is a demonstration of pure evil. Praying on people’s desperation for profit and undertaking actions that put lives at risk.
I hope that our police have access to every tool imaginable to bring these people traffickers to justice.
During the statement I asked the Home Secretary what work has been done with EUROPOL in sharing information with other police forces in Europe.
For the past three years EUROPOL has worked with all police forces in Europe to tackle people trafficking head on. The information and expertise that they hold will be crucial in tracking down the gangs that have perpetrated this crime.
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.