Facebook icon Twitter icon Forward icon

The PM takes decisive action and calls for global action to stamp out modern slavery.

Abridged from Philippa Stroud's article for Conservative Home.

With an estimated 45 million victims of slavery worldwide, trafficking is the fastest growing crime. Innocent men, women and children, often in vulnerable circumstances, are being exploited and abused for profit.

At the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week, the Prime Minister urged world leaders to work together to develop a response based on strong law enforcement and legislation, reducing vulnerability and supporting victims, tackling transparency in supply chains and effective international cooperation.

The UK is seen as a global leader in the fight against slavery largely due to the Modern Slavery Act passed last year. The CSJ’s 2013 report, It Happens Here: Equipping the United Kingdom to fight modern slavery, sparked much of this progress and was fundamental in seeing slavery become a political priority.

However, as outlined in the CSJ’s latest report, A Modern Response to Modern Slavery, and in the PM’s announcement this week, the battle has not yet been won.

With slavery thriving in too many European nations, the CSJ's report A Modern Response to Modern Slavery, authored by Fiona Hill, special advisor to the then Home Secretary Theresa May, and with a foreword by May, sought to offer a solution.

The report looks at how slavery should be tackled in every European country, offering 40 practical recommendations including harmonised terminology, a requirement for countries to obtain reliable data and holding law enforcement, borders and immigration officials to account.

We hope that every country will take up the Prime Minister's call to play their part in ending slavery and that together we can see an end to slavery once and for all. Slavery is not inevitable and leaders have the power to end it.

CSJ Report: A Modern Response to Modern Slavery

CSJ Report: It Happens Here: Equipping the United Kingdom to fight modern slavery

A secure, suitable home is fundamental to tackling poverty and supporting the life chances of the poorest in society.

By Amelia Abplanalp

The Prime Minister has committed to leading a Government that works for everyone. If this Government is serious about tackling poverty in our country, a credible housing strategy that incorporates a social justice strategy must be a top priority.

More people than ever are renting and private renting is rapidly becoming a new norm for low-income families.

This presents certain challenges because private landlords are less inclined to rent to tenants on Housing Benefits and people on low-incomes can struggle to obtain rent desposits and reference checks.

We identify five key objectives which would demonstrably improve life chances in our recent report, Home Improvements: A Social Justice Approach to Housing Policy, many of which were endorsed by the Minister for Housing and Planning, Brandon Lewis.

  1. Tackling instability so that households are able to build lives around a secure housing situation, and so that they do not have to make frequent, involuntary moves.
  2. Improving the suitability of the housing stock to provide the housing conditions that families need to thrive.
  3. Enabling flexibility, so that people are able to move when their life circumstances change.
  4. Supporting work and progression when housing impinges upon the welfare system.
  5. Eliminating architectural design which contributes to social breakdown, and building neighbourhoods that work for the poor.

The recommendations set out in this report offer a chance to make housing work better for those on low incomes, to use it as a means of helping people acquire a more stable base for their lives and to make it a better launch pad for their futures.

Housing Week (19-24 September) brings together housing associations to show how they are leading through change.

CSJ Report: Home Improvements: A Social Justice Approach to Housing Policy


Back banking offers new opportunity for more targeted, timely and reliable access to affordable credit.

By Patrick Spencer

Too many people on low incomes lack access to short term credit to cover unforeseen costs such as the school uniform or a broken washing machine.

Ensuring that people on low incomes have access to affordable credit is a key social justice issue and essential to ensuring that we move forward as a one nation society.

This week, the CSJ hosted a roundtable bringing together the financial sector, third sector organisations and the DWP, to discuss an alternative lending model, which is sustainable for banks and meets the needs of low-income people.

Many low-income households currently struggle to access traditional high-street banking and mainstream credit or they pay disproportionate amounts to do so because of high penalty charges and fees. This can lead to increased living costs, difficulty managing day to day finances as well as drive them into a debt spiral.

A back banking system could support the roll out of Universal Credit, which for the first time would enable short-term, low interest lending provision to negate the need for high interest loan providers currently in the market.

By fostering a new generation of socially responsible Alternative Financial Institutions which offer financial products specifically tailored to the needs of low-income families, the Government could help people avoid high-interest payday loans.

Tackling problem debt requires a new positive vision and approach centred around meeting the needs, wants and choices of people. Back banking offers an effective system to achieve this.