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Will defeat modern slavery: British PM Theresa May

Britain will lead the global fight against modern slavery, Prime Minister Theresa May has said, vowing to make it her mission to help rid the world of the “barbaric evil”.

Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, she called it “the great human rights issue of our time”. May said a new UK cabinet taskforce would tackle the “sickening and inhuman crimes” while 33 million pounds from the aid budget would fund initiatives overseas.

The new UK Prime Minister said the first government taskforce on modern slavery would see ministers “get a real grip of this issue right across Whitehall and co-ordinate and drive further progress in the battle against this cruel exploitation”.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary will also be asked to carry out an investigation to make sure that all police forces in England and Wales “treat this crime with the priority it deserves”.

“[The government] must work collaboratively with law enforcement agencies across the world, to track and stop these pernicious gangs who operate across borders and jurisdictions,” May said.

She added: “These crimes must be stopped and the victims of modern slavery must go free...

“Just as it was Britain that took an historic stand to ban slavery two centuries ago, so Britain will once again lead the way in defeating modern slavery and preserving the freedoms and values that have defined our country for generations,” she said.

The most recent Home Office estimates suggest there are between 10,000 and 13,000 victims of modern slavery in the UK, with 45 million estimated victims across the world. Victims are said to include women forced into prostitution, “imprisoned” domestic staff and workers in fields, factories and fishing boats.

May said: “From nail bars and car washes to sheds and rundown caravans, people are enduring experiences that are simply horrifying in their inhumanity.

“Vulnerable people who have travelled long distances, believing they were heading for legitimate jobs, are finding they have been duped, forced into hard labour, and then locked up and abused.

“Innocent individuals are being tricked into prostitution, often by people they thought they could trust. Children are being made to pick-pocket on the streets and steal from cash machines.” 
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