Welcome to the conversation!

Welcome to the conversation!

Harriet Beecher Stowe's (1811-1896) best-selling anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), made her the most famous American woman of the 19th century and galvanized the abolition movement before the Civil War.

The Stowe Center is a 21st-century museum and program center using Stowe's story to inspire social justice and positive change.

The Salons at Stowe programs are a forum to connect the challenging issues (race, gender and class) that impelled Stowe to write and act with the contemporary face of those same issues. The Salon format is based on a robust level of audience participation, with the explicit goal of promoting civic engagement. Recent topics included: Teaching Acceptance; Is Prison the New Slavery; Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North; Creativity and Change; Race, Gender and Politics Today; How to be an Advocate

This blog will expand the reach of these community conversations to the online audience. Add your posts and comments to keep the conversation going! Commit to action by clicking HERE to stay up to date on Salon and social justice news.

For updates on Stowe Center programs and events, sign up for our enews at http://harrietbeecherstowe.org/email.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Britain announces draft of Modern Slavery Bill

"Modern slavery is an absolutely horrendous crime of people being forced into lives of servitude and misery, of a variety of sorts- maybe labor exploitation, sexual exploitation perhaps forced into a life of crime."
- British Home Secretary Theresa May

Earlier this week, British Home Secretary Theresa May announced a new bill, the Modern Slavery Bill, which will give human traffickers with previous convictions of a serious sexual or violent nature automatic life sentences. The bill will also appoint an Anti-Slavery Commissioner to enforce regulations against human trafficking and work towards not only ending modern day slavery but increasing support for victims. Citing Frank Field, member of Parliament and Vice-Chair of the Human Trafficking Foundation, May reported that at least 10,000 people are trafficked across the UK. 


According to gov.uk, the British government's website, this new bill will: 

  • consolidate existing human trafficking and slavery offences to make the options available to law enforcement, when investigating and pursuing trafficking related charges, administratively simpler and operationally clearer
  • increase the maximum sentence for human trafficking to life imprisonment, to ensure that modern-day slave drivers face the full force of the law
  • introduce an anti-slavery commissioner to galvanise efforts in the UK to challenge modern slavery by working with government and law-enforcement agencies to realise more investigations, prosecutions and convictions of human traffickers
  • introduce slavery and trafficking prevention orders and slavery and trafficking risk orders to restrict movements or impose other prohibitions on convicted or suspected traffickers to reduce the risk they pose
  • create a new requirement for ‘first responders’ to report all suspected cases of human trafficking to the national referral mechanism (NRM). This will improve our understanding of the nature and scale of this crime and help improve our response

For more information about the new bill in Britain, we recommend reading the draft of the bill and impact statement HERE, or The Guardian's "Modern slavery bill to be published" and the BBC's "Life sentences planned for slavery offenders." For information about modern day slavery in the US, check out our recent post "Human Trafficking Trends in the United States" which provides statistics and links to reports. Our event recap post of the "How to Be an Abolitionist Workshop" also has great resources on how to take action.

What law reform do you think we need in the US to help end modern day slavery? Should the US adopt a bill similar to Britain's Modern Slavery Bill? Reflect in the Comments section below. 

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