“I believe this is the first time that any government has brought together, in a single Act, its legislative measures to counter this growing evil.”—the Home Secretary, Theresa May

But can the current Modern Slavery Bill place the UK at the forefront of a successful abolition movement? Or does it need to challenge business more forcefully to reveal their supply chains?

To answer these questions and mark the Second Reading of the Modern Slavery Bill, the Legatum Institute is hosting Slavery and Abolition: Then and Now, on 8 July. The event brings together Frank Field, MP, chair of the Modern Slavery Bill Evidence Review; Nick Grono, CEO of the Freedom Fund; and Professor John Oldfield, Director of the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation. Also participating in the event will be Monique Villa, CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Slavery is, indeed, a “growing evil”: there are more slaves than ever before—880,000 in the EU alone. This is a $150 billion industry—ten times the annual profits from the airline industry. It may be illegal in every country, but some 30 million people around the world either profit from this trade or fall victim to it.

Slavery and Abolition: Then and Now, part of the Legatum Institute’s ‘Roads to Freedom’ series, will examine how the experiences of  19th century abolitionists can help us to tackle human trafficking and forced labour today.

Nick Grono, CEO of The Freedom Fund, says “The government should amend its Modern Slavery Bill, currently before the Parliament, to require companies to be transparent about their efforts to respond to slavery, by—at very least—disclosing every year what efforts they have made to eliminate slavery from their operations and supply chains.”

Cristina Odone, Director of Communications, says: “Slavery affects millions—and in particular, women, who constitute the majority of those trafficked in the UK. We should draw inspiration from the great abolitionists of the past to turn Britain.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

  1. The event will take place at Legatum Institute 11 Charles Street, 2:30pm, 8 July 2014

Media Enquiries

For more information or to arrange an interview with the participants, please contact:

Cristina Odone, Director of Communications  
Ph: +44 (0) 207 148 5425 / E: cristina.odone@li.com  

Hywel Williams, Senior Adviser, Legatum Institute
E: Hywel.Williams@li.com

About the Legatum Institute Foundation

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The Legatum Institute Foundation’s signature product is the Legatum Prosperity Index™, a unique global assessment of national prosperity based on both wealth and wellbeing. The Index assesses 142 countries and is an essential tool for governments across the globe. For more information please go to www.prosperity.com.