New U.K. bill cracking down on immigration may worsen situation of trafficking victims

Protesters sit next to the railings outside the Houses of Parliament during a demonstration to express solidarity with migrants . (REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth)

Anti-trafficking groups are petitioning the British government to rethink its proposed immigration bill, saying that new rules cracking down on illegal immigrants working in the U.K. would prevent those who have been trafficked from coming forward to get help. The bill that has been floated in response to growing fear over immigration and terror in the UK would include a 12-month jail sentence for immigrants found to be illegally working in the country. Advocates say that victims of trafficking will risk admitting to a crime just by telling authorities they had been trafficked. The new law would give traffickers extra power over victims by scaring them from coming forward, they said.

“We have serious concerns that the immigration bill will make people more vulnerable. The proposed legislation hands unbelievable control to traffickers,” said Caroline Robinson, policy director at the Focus on Labour Exploitation (Flex).

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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