IN THE HUMAN RIGHTS CONTEXT
An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers
Although it may sound a rather crude statement, this handbook is about all aspects of modern slavery, known also as trafficking, and its relatively unchecked re-emergence into our modern society.
There are 27 contributors to the diversity of topics covered in the chapters including contributions from 7 organisations. It makes this book, in the words of Nicholas Bratza, not a merely a `modestly titled' handbook but even more a detailed manual formulated by the distinguished field of experts who have contributed to the work.
Bratza says that whilst there's a mine of information, and clear and practical guidance, the handbook examines all aspects of human trafficking in its separate chapters of applicability to a wide readership.
The experts used here are from many different fields including doctors, children's services, domestic and international trafficking specialists, legal practitioners, police and prosecutors and members of organisations dedicated to the support of victims of trafficking.
What is striking when one reads through the work are the valuable conclusions at the end of the chapters and the substantial detail contained in the footnotes. A recurring theme throughout is rightly that of the victim. As Bratza remarks, the areas range from the identification of victims and potential victims of trafficking and their treatment and support, to issues including the special problems relating to child victims.
The handbook covers worldwide concerns, reviewing the international rights and duties affecting the protection of victims. It also examines the problematic issue of remedial measures for victims, including the right to compensation.
The legislative and operational measures here in UK relating to the non-criminalization of victims and the investigation and prosecution of human traffickers are well covered in our view. So the picture painted illustrates a stark reality that, in spite of the advances made here recently, much remains to be done to respond more effectively to the threat and consequences of human trafficking.
The conclusion on modern slavery is that of a common theme and a continuing concern which the contributors raise with the need to ensure that respect for the human rights of all victims of trafficking will have to underpin all anti-trafficking measures.
It's an excellent handbook combining a wealth of learning and experience in a single volume which not only contributes to a better understanding of the challenges presented by human trafficking.
As the writers say, "it will become an indispensable resource for all concerned with combating this pernicious trade"... and, very unfortunately, most important for today's society when our forefathers had probably thought this matter had gone away, which it hasn't.