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Article

12 Dec 2014

Author:
Cindy Berman, Head of Knowledge and Learning, Ethical Trading Initiative

Blog: Modern slavery: If I had a hammer

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"I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail," said Abraham Maslow. Modern slavery has never before had so much attention from the public, the media, and the politicians. The UK Modern Slavery Bill is a focus for much of this attention, and there is a huge body of individuals and organisations working feverishly to ensure it can serve as an example for the rest of the world...But there is a problem in the way the crime of modern slavery is being presented. There are constant references to traffickers, ‘slavers’ and criminals exploiting vulnerable men, women and children, making billions from illegal profit as if the problem is somehow ‘out there’ operating in the dark underbelly of society. And most governments, including the UK, seek to identify, prosecute, and punish these criminals by locking them up for a long time. The criminal justice system is a hammer.  The problem is, modern slavery is not a nail....

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