Watchdog warns Britain is breaking antislavery law by jailing human trafficking victims
Prison Reform Trust warns women are often jailed despite being recognised as trafficking victims
London — Female victims of human trafficking in Britain are being jailed wrongly in breach of a landmark antislavery law as the government fails to identify cases of women being forced to commit crimes, say campaigners. Foreign women are often jailed for crimes such as cannabis production, prostitution-related acts, fraud and begging — commonly under coercion — despite being recognised as trafficking victims, the Prison Reform Trust said on Monday. Of the 585 foreign female prisoners examined for the charity’s report for February 2013 to March 2017, 45 were identified as victims or potential victims of trafficking. "Despite legislation to protect victims of trafficking, current processes are failing to identify vulnerable women and prevent their prosecution for offences they were compelled to commit," said Katy Swaine Williams of the trust. Britain’s 2015 Modern Slavery Act has a defence for victims forced to commit crimes. "Victims of modern slavery should not be prosecuted for cri...