10, Mar 2018 | CJP Team
The United Kingdom’s government is cutting the financial aid it supplies to victims of slavery in the country by almost half, the Guardian reported, with the weekly allowance being reduced from £65 to £37.75. The financial aid is provided for 45 days after it is verified that someone was a victim of modern slavery. The Home Office said the decision was align financial aid for slavery victims with the aid provided to asylum seekers. Anti-slavery activists, however, said the reduction could prevent slavery victims from being able to pay for basic needs while they recover from being enslaved. They also cautioned that the decrease could force many people into homelessness and extreme poverty and make them more vulnerable to human traffickers. “Keeping trafficked people in poverty will also undermine their ability and capacity to cooperate with the authorities to bring their exploiters to justice and legal systems to access their rights,” Kate Roberts of the Human Trafficking Foundation noted. “This huge reduction in monetary support exposes survivors to a mega risk of homelessness,” said Labour member of Parliament Frank Field. The UK’s Home Office has maintained that the overall funds for supporting slavery victims would not be reduced, and that support for “the most vulnerable” would rise. An estimated 13,000 people are said to be enslaved in the UK, but the country’s anti-slavery commissioner has cautioned that the true number is likely significantly higher.