Modern slavery is a global issue that requires a global response. The Commissioner works with countries of origin, governments and international agencies to ensure the crime is collaboratively tackled and kept a priority on the global agenda.
No single country or agency can overcome modern slavery. The Commissioner has therefore continued to provide leadership and encouragement to the international community on the importance of developing responses commensurate to counter the true threat, scale and nature that the crime of modern slavery presents, both to individual states and the international community.
Following the adoption of SDG 8.7, a coordination group – Alliance 8.7 – was launched at the 2016 United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. Relevant UN agencies have now come together under the Alliance, and a number of coordination groups have been formed to focus on areas including rule of law, supply chains, migration and humanitarian emergencies. The Commissioner has put forward several initial suggestions to the emergencies working group, in particular for work that he believes needs to be immediately synchronised. The Commissioner continues to engage with the International Labour Organization (ILO) as it coordinates the work of Alliance 8.7.
The Commissioner continues to engage with international law enforcement and criminal justice agencies such as Interpol, Europol, Eurojust and the Southeast European Law Enforcement Centre (SELEC) to drive cooperation and exchange of best practice. The Commissioner has continued to engage with agencies across borders in order to drive multi-lateral law enforcement cooperation both now and following Britain’s exit from the European Union.
The Commissioner has also actively participated in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s (CPA) two-year project focusing on working with international legislators and officials to promote the introduction of modern slavery legislation in commonwealth jurisdictions, which is funded by the UK government’s Modern Slavery Innovation Fund. The Commissioner has been supporting the CPA in the development of this project.
Finally, the Commissioner has continued to call for action to ensure protection measures against modern slavery are incorporated into peacekeeping and humanitarian responses. He has presented at the United Nations, Security Council and General Assembly, on his ambition to see all humanitarian and peacekeeping deployments include training and toolkits to prevent and respond to modern slavery.