Section 47 - Slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour
240.This section introduces a new statutory offence of holding someone in slavery or servitude, or requiring a person to perform forced or compulsory labour. The offence has been introduced in response to the case of Siliadin v France(1) (where the European Court of Human Rights held that there had been a violation of Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights which covers the exploitative behaviours of slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour).
241.Subsection (2) provides that the offence must be interpreted in accordance with Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights which prohibits these exploitative behaviours and sets out the circumstances in which where such behaviour would not fall under the term “forced or compulsory labour” e.g. work required while subject to a term of imprisonment, military service, etc.
242.The maximum penalties for an offence under this section are provided for in subsection (3), namely:
on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 14 years, to a fine or both;
on summary conviction for this offence increases to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 12 months, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both.