Recently, I tried to incorporate the topic of Human Slavery and the efforts behind made to reduce human trafficking and servitude. The paper wasn’t large enough; there are just too many and too much places and sources, and plans.

A few months ago Queen Elizabeth in a speech to parliament in the UK, proposed a ‘Modern Slavery Bill’ that increased the maximum punishment to Life Imprisonment, which in the UK is the maximum for any crime; and one can conclude it will be applied to the earliest offender. But is this enough of a deterrent? Will it confound the criminals sufficiently for them to resist and reduce the frequency of their activities? For it seems to be that never before in the history of the world has human slavery been so much and so varied.

Never before, was trafficking of persons been so egregious that a Chinese female might be trafficked to Brazil. The illustration being that law enforcement in this area needs to be so international and so balanced that the laws of one country are applicable to all other states. One of the emphases of the bill is victim’s right to protection, support, services, advice and the certainty they need to re-build their careers and lives. This stipulation will be embedded into the ordinance created.

The Home Secretary, Theresa May, commented that the proposed bill gives law enforcement the tools they need to accomplish the goal. “Modern Slavery is an appalling crime that damages too many lives. This Government intends to give Law Enforcement the tools necessary to stamp out the crime and its additive injuries, and to provide protection.”

The unusual aspect to this legislation is that an objection was made that the legislation left too many openings, and should be more direct to be effective. In other words, the relief clauses should be legally binding under the law.

In her proposal (EIIR), the small business enterprises would be made more transparent, so that the ownership and control of these companies would be available to authorities in money laundering, drug trafficking, and corrupt enterprises. It would also affect “shell companies” which front for the dishonest ones; adding that 70% of the larger false deals were handled by these ‘shell’ companies. It seems that some half a trillion pounds were lost in financial flows in 2010.

Then her Majesty added that investing funds through ‘financial trusts’ should be made more transparent, for all measures (quoted above) to succeed.

Her Majesty went on to say that she would be seeking an end to sexual violence against children, and pointed out that a conference on this subject would be presented by Foreign Secretary William Hague later this year. It is intended to bring together representatives of 128 foreign countries, the public and the media, to discuss strategic cooperation on the matter.

Finally, there was a further amendment to the bill which was confronted by “The English Protective of Prostitutes”, seeming to be an organization of courtesans. (A new one on me ).

Hundreds of women groups influenced by the above mentioned collective, including LBGTQ groups, suggested that the Swedish Law on prostitution be removed, as it had increased violent behaviour among the clients of the prostitutes.

In Sweden when an act of prostitution occurs, only the buyer (the man) is charged. The seller is not. “’Women against Rape” claims that the men are not accused of violence, so how can they be charged? The thought being, a full decriminalization of prostitution is what is necessary, although the resultant going around in circles confound the issue of charging for prostitution, and prevents any penalties from being levelled.

(611 words)

©Ramesh Sujanani, Nov 2014.

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