Prohibition of Slavery and Forced Labour in UK Law

In this Topic
Leading Cases
  • Sepet and Another v Secretary of State for the Home Department
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 11 May 2001

    Next I should emphasise that it is plain (indeed uncontentious) that there are circumstances in which a conscientious objector may rightly claim that punishment for draft evasion would amount to persecution: where the military service to which he is called involves acts, with which he may be associated, which are contrary to basic rules of human conduct; where the conditions of military service are themselves so harsh as to amount to persecution on the facts; where the punishment in question is disproportionately harsh or severe.

  • William Connors and Others v R
    • Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)
    • 26 March 2013

    Sentences in this class of case must make clear, not merely that the statutory minimum wage should not be undermined, but much more important, that every vulnerable victim of exploitation will be protected by the criminal law, and they must also emphasise that there is no victim, so vulnerable to exploitation, that he or she somehow becomes invisible or unknown to or somehow beyond the protection of the law.

  • R v Sk
    • Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)
    • 08 July 2011

    Where "forced or compulsory labour" is concerned, the menace of a penalty can be exerted in various ways. Constraint can be mental or physical. Where it is alleged that one person has been compulsorily employed by another, the level of pay he or she has received, if any, may have evidential importance. It may point to coercion; it may bear on an employee's ability to escape from his or her employer's control. On its own, however, a derisory level of wages is not tantamount to coercion.

  • Sepet v SSHD
    • House of Lords
    • 20 March 2003

    There is compelling support for the view that refugee status should be accorded to one who has refused to undertake compulsory military service on the grounds that such service would or might require him to commit atrocities or gross human rights abuses or participate in a conflict condemned by the international community, or where refusal to serve would earn grossly excessive or disproportionate punishment: see, for example, Zolfagharkhani v Canada (Minister of Employment and Immigration) [1993] FC 540; Ciric v Canada (Minister of Employment and Immigration) [1994] 2 FC 65; Canas-Segovia v Immigration and Naturalization Service (1990) 902 F 2d 717; UNHCR Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for Determining Refugee Status, paras 169, 171.

  • Jugnauth v Ringadoo
    • Privy Council
    • 04 November 2008

    It seems to be clear too that any time spent in custody prior to sentencing should be taken fully into account, not simply by means of a form of words but by means of an arithmetical deduction when assessing the length of the sentence that is to be served from the date of sentencing.

  • R v MC
    • Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)
    • 16 May 2019

    It is plain enough that she had a general knowledge, in general terms, of what was going on. But, on the judge's findings, her active participation was relatively limited, even if she could be described as “the matriarch”. In effect, she had left strategic decisions to others and she personally had been kind to complainants; certainly some of them had in evidence spoken out favourably of her.

  • R (Reilly and Another) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
    • Supreme Court
    • 30 October 2013

    Fairness therefore requires that a claimant should have access to such information about the scheme as he or she may need in order to make informed and meaningful representations to the decision-maker before a decision is made. Such claimants are likely to vary considerably in their levels of education and ability to express themselves in an interview at a Jobcentre at a time when they may be under considerable stress.

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  • Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010
    • Scotland
    • January 01, 2010
    ... ... (2) In section 47 (prohibition of the carrying of offensive weapons) —(a) in ... 2011/178, art. 2, Sch. (with Sch.) ... Slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour ... ...
  • Human Rights Act 1998
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 1998
    ... ... (1) No one shall be held in slavery or servitude ... (2) No one shall be required o perform forced or compulsory labour ... (3) For the purpose of ... ...
  • The Slavery and Human Trafficking (Definition of Victim) Regulations 2022
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2022
    ... ... “slavery”, “servitude” and “forced or compulsory labour” have the same meaning as ... or 33 of the Human Tissue Act 2004 (prohibition of commercial dealings in organs and restrictions ... ...
  • Modern Slavery Act 2015
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2015
    ... ... provision about slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour and about human trafficking, ... or 33 of the Human Tissue Act 2004 (prohibition of commercial dealings in organs and restrictions ... ...
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Books & Journal Articles
  • ‘Am I Free Now?’ Overseas Domestic Workers in Slavery
    • No. 42-3, September 2015
    • Journal of Law and Society
    This article examines United Kingdom overseas domestic worker and diplomatic domestic worker visas in place since 2012. These visas tie workers to an employer by making it unlawful for them to chan...
    ... ... whether the visa is contrary to the prohibition of slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory ... University of Oxford, UCL, and the London Labour Law Discussion Group. ß 2015 The Author. Journal ... ...
  • I Book Review: Defining Civil and Political Rights: The Jurisprudence of the United Nations Human Rights Committee
    • No. 24-1, March 2006
    • Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights
    ... ... and religion, expression, and the prohibition of war propaganda and incitement to hatred and ... other ill-treatment, the prohibition of slavery and forced labour and the right to liberty and ... ...
  • Recent Publications on International Human Rights
    • No. 33-1, March 2015
    • Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights
    ... ... rig hts and freedoms (right to life, prohibition of torture, prohibition of slavery and forced ... ...
  • From old slavery to new forms of exploitation: A reflection on the conditions of irregular migrant labour after the Chowdury case
    • No. 10-3, September 2019
    • New Journal of European Criminal Law
    The spread of exploitative working practices requires an in-depth reflection on the impact of the free market and global competitiveness on some fundamental rights that are inherent to all human be...
    ... ... in Article 4 only prohibits slavery and servitude (para 1) and forced and compulsory labour (para 2). It could raise the question of where to ... the ECHR system not only provides in Article 4 for an absolute prohibition on slavery and servitude (para 1) and a limited prohibition on forced and ... ...
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Law Firm Commentaries
  • Modern slavery directors personally liable for employee exploitation
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    The High Court has held a company’s officers personally, jointly and severally liable to its employees as victims of modern slavery. The officers had deliberately and systematically utilised coerci...
    ... ... Rights Act 1998 for breach of the prohibition on slavery and forced labour in Article 4 of the ... ...
  • Significant UK Ruling On The Contours Of Criminal Liability For Human Rights Abuses Occurring In Overseas Supply Chains
    • Mondaq UK
    ... ... investigated in respect of forced labour and other human rights ... abuses ... follows (emphasis added):  ... '1. Prohibition of importation of foreign prison made ... The ... contrary to section 1 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and / or ... section 51 of the ... ...
  • Hot Topics in Supply Chain Compliance
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    The last few years have seen a proliferation of new supply chain-focused regulations and other compliance obligations, a trend which isn’t likely to abate any time soon. In this Alert, we provide a...
    ... ... The UK Modern Slavery Act (MSA). Starting this year, the MSA will ... The UK Labour Standards Assurance System (LSAS). LSAS was ... things addresses the use of child and forced labor; (2) assessing the extent to which labor ... the consumptive demand exception, the prohibition did not apply to the extent that US demand ... ...
  • Global Employment Lawyer – Issue 4 / 2022
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    In this issue, we provide a brief summary of the key employment and labour law changes that will have an impact on employers around the world. The pandemic undoubtedly upended and caused lasti...
    ... ... of 202 2 of our global employment and labour review. Asthe end of the calendar year draws ... sexual harassment policy; • prohibition of mistreatment, harassment and violence against ... y as well as mitigating the risk of slavery and forced labour. Whatimpact do you think ... ...
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