Anti-Slavery Day on October 18 was established in 2010 to provide a focal point for raising awareness about people in the UK and around the world who continue to be trapped in modern slavery, and to promote the need for people across society to play a part in ending it.
There can be few issues that unite politicians across party lines as strongly as this one.
Following the Slavery and Servitude Act 2010, holding a person in slavery became illegal in the UK. This law was invoked when police recently found 24 vulnerable people apparently kept as slaves on a Bedfordshire traveller site.
A Channel 4 news programme then suggested there could be more cases around the country.
This is worrying. Reports of slavery and trafficking underline the need for anyone who comes to live here to observe British laws and standards and also to be protected from abuse of them by others.
The message was spelled out by my colleague, Immigration Minister Damian Green, in an article he wrote for the Huffington Post.
He said: ‘Human trafficking is a brutal crime which ruins lives, and which is appallingly one of the fastest-growing international criminal activities. Traffickers treat people like commodities. The message from the British Government is clear. The UK is not a safe haven for traffickers; they will be pursued and brought to justice.’
The Home Office and Department of Education will publish guidance for local authorities and the police on how to report potential victims and how to recognise the key indicators of trafficking.
Let us hope that these measures, plus vigilance from the rest of us, will help to finally end slavery and trafficking in this country.