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.