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‘Heartless’ UK government fails to fill two key human rights watchdog roles

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Guardian or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: The UK government has left two key independent watchdog roles vacant: the victims' commissioner for England and Wales and the anti-slavery commissioner
• The victims' commissioner role has been vacant for almost a year, and the anti-slavery commissioner for a year and a half, despite being a legal requirement

🔭 The context: The vacancies come at a critical time as cases of suspected trafficking are at an all-time high and vital legislation is moving through parliament
• Former commissioners and campaigners stress the importance of filling these roles to maintain scrutiny and commitment to tackling these issues

🌎 Why does it matter: The lack of these officials has significantly limited the government's ability to research and publish new work on these issues
• Furthermore, it's indicative of the government's true attitude to rape and trafficking victims, as it hampers the ability to provide necessary oversight

⏭️ What's next: Despite the delays and criticisms, the government insists that the recruitment process is underway for both roles
• The Home Office claims the process for the anti-slavery commissioner is at an advanced stage, and the Ministry of Justice asserts that there is no deliberate delay for the victims' commissioner role

💬 One quote: "A strong, independent victims’ commissioner has never been more important. The role must not be allowed to lie dormant like the independent anti-slavery commissioner.” (Vera Baird, Former victims' commissioner)

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