Strong support from Peers to end slavery of domestic workers

On Wednesday 10th December the Modern Slavery Bill reached Committee Stage in the House of Lords. Amendment 94, which would have done much to protect Overseas Domestic Workers from slavery but allowing them to change employer and apply to renew their visa if in full time employment as a domestic worker in a private household, was hotly debated. It is clear that many Peers keenly feel the injustice of the current system which bonds migrant domestic workers to their employers.

Disappointingly the Government continue to attempt to defend the current arrangement; in spite of all the evidence to date showing that the abuse of migrant domestic workers is being facilitated by the tied ODW visa. There is likely to be a vote on this matter at Report stage in February and Kalayaan remains positive that Peers will demand that the current tied visa is reversed.


Migrant domestic workers; the gap in the Modern Slavery Bill

The Modern Slavery Bill is currently going through the House of Lords. Committee Stage consideration of the Modern Slavery Bill has now finished. Amendment 94 in the names of Baroness Cox, Lord Alton of Liverpool, Baroness Royall of Blaisdon and Lord Hylton which would provide vital  protections for Overseas Domestic Workers was debated on the 12 December and received substantial cross party support. We are hopeful that the Government will now consider the effects of tying migrant domestic workers to their employers and how this both facilitates their abuse and undermines the Bill and reinstate the pre 2012 protections for migrant domestic workers in the immigration rules. If not we are confident that a similar amendment will continue to receive strong support at Report Stage early 2015.