Thank you for contacting me about trade and human rights.
The UK’s trade policy is designed to promote free and fair trade around the globe and in doing so build economic connections, spread prosperity, lift people out of poverty and help to alleviate some of the world's most pressing humanitarian concerns.
It is welcome that, since 2017, the UK has more than doubled investment to tackle modern slavery and human trafficking to over £200 million, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable including children, women and girls. UK programmes seek to tackle the root causes by addressing permissive environments which allow slavery to exist, and supporting the most vulnerable to escape. This is exemplified by the flagship £10 million Work in Freedom Programme, which has reached over 480,000 women and girls to date and aims to reduce the vulnerability to trafficking and forced labour of women and girls in South Asia and Arab States.
As we forge a dynamic new vision for a truly Global Britain, I am proud that the UK will become an even stronger force for good in the world. I welcome the UK’s new sanctions regime, which showcases the UK’s firm commitment to the rules-based international system, and to standing up for victims of human rights abuses.
The regime gives the UK new powers to stop those involved in serious human rights abuses and violations from entering the country, channelling money through UK banks, or profiting from our economy. Unlike conventional geographic sanctions regimes, which only target a country, these new sanctions target perpetrators without punishing the wider people of a country. The powers also enable the UK to target a wider network of perpetrators, extending to non-state actors too, including organised criminals.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me about this important issue.
Sally-Ann Hart MP