Kieran Guilbert reports for Reuters that the European Court of Human Rights ruled out that Britain should pay 90 000 euros in compensation to two Vietnamese men who were convicted of drug crimes despite signs they had been trafficked as children and forced to work on cannabis farms.
This case dates back to 2009 (when the two men were still teenagers) and on Tuesday it has been ruled out that Britain had failed to protect potential victims of child trafficking.
ECHR concluded that Britain violated Article 4 (prohibition of forced labour) and Article 6 (right to a fair trial) under the European Convention on Human Rights.
Britain’s Home Office is “carefully considering” the judgement and states that the UK government is committed to fight against modern slavery and is making sure victims are supported in rebuilding their lives.
In 2019 a record of 10 627 suspected modern slaves were identified in Britain (up by 52% in a year).
Concerns have been raised regarding children often being prosecuted on drug charges despite evidence suggesting they were coerced, and a legal defence protecting such defendants under Britain’s 2015 Modern Slavery Act.