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Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX) has published a working paper on ‘Preventing Trafficking for Labour Exploitation’ This important paper prioritises the needs and voices of victims of trafficking for labour exploitation and examines how their human rights are being ignored.  It suggests that both documented and undocumented migrant workers are in danger of being exploited as immigration measures intensify isolation, state protections are weakened and all migrant workers are increasingly marginalised.


Experts in the field of human trafficking place central importance on the ‘three Ps’ set out in the UN Human Trafficking Protocol (2003) as an effective framework for combating this global problem: prevention, protection and prosecution.  This report focuses on prevention which FLEX considerS to be the foundation of any anti-trafficking response.


In this report, FLEX makes four recommendations with the aim of preventing human trafficking for labour exploitation in the UK:


1) Monitor labour standards and strengthen the labour rights of vulnerable workers.

2) Enforce employment law where flouted.

3) Regulate high-risk labour sectors.

4) Ensure immigration responses do not contribute to trafficking for labour exploitation.


According to the report, the UK Government has made ending ‘modern day slavery’ a priority, but limiting the activities of the GLA (Gangmasters’ Licensing Authority), reducing the scope of all labour inspectorates and contributing to the extreme marginalisation of migrant workers, has severely restricted the UK’s ability to prevent trafficking for labour exploitation.