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Call for Evidence

Call for evidence

1. Aim of the Inquiry

The House of Lords Select Committee on the Modern Slavery Act 2015 was appointed on 24 January 2024. It is chaired by Baroness O’Grady of Upper Holloway and will report by 30 November 2024.

This inquiry will consider the impact of the 2015 Modern Slavery Act, and its effectiveness in achieving its aims. It will also consider how the Act’s provisions have been implemented, how the Act has been impacted by recent political developments, and whether the Act is in need of improvement.

This is a public call for written evidence to be submitted to the Committee. The deadline is 10:00am on 27 March. The Committee is keen to hear from a diverse range of individuals and organisations.

We are mindful that the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee recently conducted an extensive inquiry into human trafficking. While we can only formally accept written evidence prepared specifically for our inquiry, in the interests of avoiding undue duplication, we would be content to receive variants of the evidence previously submitted to the Home Affairs Committee, repurposed and updated as appropriate, to emphasise the principal topics for our inquiry which we have set out below.

2. Questions

The Committee’s focus is specifically on the Act itself, and its implementation, rather than modern slavery in general. The Committee is therefore seeking written submissions addressing any or all of the following topics in relation to the Modern Slavery Act 2015:

  1. The extent to which the Modern Slavery Act 2015 has been impacted by recent legislation (for example the Nationality and Borders Act 2022 and the Illegal Migration Act 2023)
  2. Whether the Act has kept up-to-date with developments in modern slavery and human trafficking, both within the UK and internationally
  3. The efficacy of the provisions of the Act relating to supply chains
  4. The efficacy of the other key provisions of the Act, including definitions, sanctions, reporting, enforcement, and the statutory defence for victims
  5. The role of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, including whether the post is sufficiently resourced, and the process of appointment
  6. Suggestions for improvements that could be made to the Act to help it to better achieve its aims

3. Guidance foe submissions

Submitting written evidence

Written submissions may be submitted online in Word document format using the written submission form available at https://committees.parliament.uk/submission/#/evidence/3356/preamble. This page also provides guidance on submitting evidence. All submissions made through the written submission form should receive an on-screen confirmation once the evidence has been submitted.

If you have difficulty making a written submission on the online portal for any reason, you may contact us in a number of ways:

  • Via email: hlmodernslaveryact@parliament.uk
  • Via social media: Send us a tweet or direct message
  • Via post: Clerk to the Select Committee on the Modern Slavery Act 2015, Committee Office, House of Lords, London SW1A 0PW

Guidelines for written evidence

Short, concise submissions are preferred, and submissions longer than 6 pages should include a one-page summary. Please ensure the submission is free of logos and signatures. Paragraphs should be numbered, and submissions should be dated.

Submissions should make a note of the author’s name, and of whether the author is acting in an individual or corporate capacity. Submissions with a university or college address should make clear whether they are submitted in an individual capacity or on behalf of the university or college.

You should be careful not to comment on individual cases currently before a court of law or matters in respect of which court proceedings are imminent. If you anticipate such issues arising, you should discuss with the Clerk to the Committee via email how this might affect your submission.

The Committee cannot accept anything that has not been prepared specifically in response to this call for evidence, or that has been published elsewhere.

All substantive communications between witnesses and the committee, whether or not intended to constitute formal evidence, should be directed through the committee staff or Chair, both in the call for evidence and in any subsequent invitation to give oral evidence, to avoid any danger of improper influence on the work of the committee.

Accepting evidence

Submissions become the property of the Committee, which will decide whether to accept them as evidence. Once you have received acknowledgement via email that your submission has been accepted as evidence, you may publicise or publish it yourself, but in doing so you must indicate that it was prepared for the Committee. If you publish your evidence separately, you should be aware that you will be legally responsible for its content.

Publication

Evidence that is accepted by the Committee may be published online at any stage; when it is published it becomes subject to parliamentary copyright and is protected by parliamentary privilege. It will normally appear on the Committee’s website and will be deposited in the Parliamentary Archives.

Personal contact details will be removed from evidence before publication but will be retained by the Committee Office and used for specific purposes relating to the Committee’s work, for instance to seek additional information.

In certain circumstances the Committee may be prepared to accept submissions but not to publish them, in whole or in part. If you would like to submit evidence on this basis you should first discuss this with the Clerk to the Committee via email.

Oral evidence

Persons who submit written evidence, and others, may be invited to give oral evidence. Oral evidence is usually given in public and broadcast online; transcripts are produced and published online. Persons invited to give oral evidence will be notified separately of the procedure to be followed and the topics likely to be discussed. We envisage that public hearings will take place in public, however they may take place in a hybrid or virtual setting.

Further details

Substantive communications to the Committee about the inquiry should be addressed to the Clerk, whether or not they are intended to constitute formal evidence to the Committee. You may follow the progress of the inquiry at the following link: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/700/modern-slavery-act-2015-committee/

Diversity

Diversity comes in many forms and hearing a range of different perspectives means that committees are better informed and can more effectively scrutinise public policy and legislation. Committees can undertake their role most effectively when they hear from a wide range of individuals, sectors or groups in society affected by a particular policy or piece of legislation. We encourage anyone with experience or expertise of an issue under investigation by a select committee to share their views with the committee, with the full knowledge that their views have value and are welcome.

This call for written evidence has now closed.

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