As a human being ,I found Dispatches tonight disturbing,sickening and abhorrent.
As a Liberal,I am very angry that this could be happening in the UK.
This entry is about a promise that I want all political parties to make.
That they will look at the status of domestic and sex slavery in the UK with a view to help the ones who are suffering.
The decision-making must be left to politicians but I will offer suggestions for inclusion in the New Abolition of Slavery act.
The ones that come to mind immediately are:
1) Entry into the UK of domestic staff accompanying foreign employers to be assessed in country of departure by qualified staff and again in the UK (see no 2). The visa for entry must be given to the employee along with the appropriate rights to work.
A bond of £10,000.00 is to be charged to the employer per employee and kept by the Home Office .In the event of an employer being found guilty of slavery and imprisonment or any other breach of UK law relating to the employee, this money can be paid to the plaintiff as part of the compensation process.
The passports are to be held by the local police station and only available to employees. The passports will be returned to the employee if she changes employment or wants leave the UK (holidays, home visits etc). At all occasions where the employee engages with an agency of government, care must be taken to ascertain that the employee is not being coerced or threatened in any way. The passports are to be returned to the local police station once employee returns.
The police who then investigates new employer must do the transfer of passports to another police station.
2) All agents who are presently employing domestic staff in the UK are to present themselves at police stations or council offices where an automatic assessment of their ability to be an employer can be assessed and random spot checks will be conducted on them at any time. NO exceptions to be given (including diplomatic immunity)
3) All employees assessed at hospitals, GPs, police stations and Social services are to be given help to escape from abusive employers, given safe homes access, counselling and treatment and means of basic education and help finding other jobs. An automatic presumption to domestic working visa qualification must be in place.
This list is not all-inclusive and much more is needed to make it workable.
Again I ask all Parties agree to a joint effort and suggest that my party, the Liberal Democrats take this forward in our campaigns for human rights in the UK.