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Submission of evidence to JCHR on Illegal Migration Bill

Submission of evidence to the JCHR on the Illegal Migration Bill.

Published: 24th April 2023

In early April 2023, the Modern Slavery PEC responded to the UK Joint Committee on Human Rights' (JCHR) call for evidence as part of its scrutiny of the Illegal Migration Bill and the modern slavery clauses within it.

The Illegal Migration Bill raises the issue of the UK’s compliance with several international treaties. This analysis focuses in particular on the obligations arising out of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the Council of Europe Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings (ECAT) with a view to answering questions 12 and 13 of the JCHR's Call for Evidence.

These questions concern the Bill’s proposed disapplication of various modern slavery provisions contained in domestic legislation for victims with irregular migration status (Clauses 21-28 of the Bill) and the compatibility of such disapplication with the UK’s obligations under Article 4 ECHR and ECAT.

This submission was drafted by Dr Marija Jovanovic, an expert in modern slavery and human rights law at the University of Essex, with input from the core PEC team. It builds on the Modern Slavery PEC’s Explainer of the modern slavery provisions in the Illegal Migration Bill, which was underpinned by legal analysis of the Bill’s human rights compatibility undertaken by Dr Jovanovic.