Dame Sara Thornton speaks to The Times on statutory defence, saying her first priority would be ensuring that slavery victims were protected but that she would also protect the system from abuse
The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Dame Sara Thornton, speaks to The Times on the debate around use of the statutory defence principle, and on the need to understand how the Modern Slavery Act and National Referral Mechanism can be used to protect victims of modern slavery as intended:
"Criminals can’t claim they were trafficked, says anti-slavery tsar" (The Times, 23/07/19)
County lines drug dealers and other criminals who try to evade justice by falsely claiming to have been trafficked or enslaved will be rooted out, the new anti-slavery commissioner has said.
Sara Thornton said her first priority would be ensuring that slavery victims were protected but that she would also protect the system from abuse.
Concerns have been raised in recent months that county lines drug dealers could encourage children to rely on the defence of exploitation. Separately, there have long been concerns that illegal immigrants and sex workers have made false claims to be added to the national referral mechanism, a system that supports victims.
Ms Thornton was announced as the new independent anti-slavery commissioner in February and took up the position in April. “I intend to ensure the system protects the most vulnerable, while we also root out those that seek to take advantage of protections designed solely for victims,” she told The Times in her first full interview since taking up the role.
You can read the full article here.