138 Children’s Legal Rights Journal [Vol. 39:2 2019]
age, family relationships, and any mental or physical illness that may make the person more
vulnerable.70 The victim’s consent (without force, fraud, or coercion), whether adult or child, does
not preclude a finding that the person is being held in slavery or forced labor.71 If the victim is a
child, it is not necessary for any of the following to be present: threats; use of force; fraud and
deception; inducement; abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability; or use of debt bondage.72
E. Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Orders and Slavery and Trafficking Risk Orders
Sections 14 and 15 of the 2015 Act introduced the Slavery and Trafficking Prevention
Orders (STPOs). An STPO can only be issued in three instances: if a defendant has been convicted
of a trafficking or slavery offense, the court is satisfied that there is a risk the defendant may
commit further offenses, and it is necessary to protect others from harm.73
Slavery and Trafficking Risk Orders (STROs) were introduced under section 23 of the
2015 Act.74 An STRO can be granted if a defendant has not been convicted of a trafficking or
slavery offense, but is nevertheless thought to pose a risk of harm, and it is necessary to protect
others.75 The court must be satisfied that the defendant has acted in a way that suggests there is a
risk of a trafficking or slavery offense being committed.76 An order can be issued by a magistrates'
court and can prohibit the defendant from doing anything described in the order that is necessary
to protect others from harm likely to occur.77 Breach of an STRO may be punishable by up to five
F. A Statutory Defense for Offenses Committed by Victims
Section 45 of the 2015 Act introduced a defense for victims who are compelled to commit
criminal offenses.79 The defense cannot be used for certain (violent) crimes.80 This section applies
concurrently with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) guidance to suspects who may be victims
The CPS guidance applies:
a) after prosecutors have already considered and rejected the statutory defense under section
45 of the 2015 Act;
b) where the criminal offense is excluded from the defense in Schedule 4 of the 2015 Act
(e.g., common law offenses, such as false imprisonment, manslaughter, murder,
kidnapping, or violent crimes generally); and
71 Modern Slavery Act 2015 § 1.
72 CROWN PROSECUTION SERV., supra note 36.
74 Modern Slavery Act 2015 § 23.
75 Id. § 23(2).
78 Id. § 30(3).
79 Modern Slavery Act 2015 § 45.
80 Id. §§ 4, 45. The criminal offenses excluded from this defense are listed in Schedule 4 and include, kidnapping,
false imprisonment, manslaughter, murder, and piracy.