The United Kingdom plans to amend its modern slavery laws to make it harder for illegal immigrants to file false claims in order to stay in the country.


Proposed legislation would result in the deportation of foreign criminals who spend more than a year in prison or who are convicted of serious offenses, regardless of whether or not they claim to be victims of modern slavery, as well as immigrants who repeatedly make false claims in order to be granted asylum.

In addition, the changes will raise the bar for applications based on a “suspicion” of victimhood, which is currently acceptable for claims of modern slavery. In the future, claims will need to be backed up by hard data, like medical records.

In 2022, the Home Office received an all-time high number of 17,000 cases from people who said they were victims of modern slavery, a 33 percent increase from the previous year.

The same time period saw at least 45,728 people make the dangerous crossing of the English Channel in rickety little boats.

The largest proportion of claimants (27.5% of the total) originated in Albania, with 4,659 claimed cases.

The United Kingdom signed an agreement with the government of Tirana earlier this year that will allow individuals to be deported to Albania pending the outcome of their asylum claims based on their status as victims of modern slavery.

At present, only about 10% of Albanians claiming to be victims of modern slavery have their asylum applications rejected in the UK. However, ministers believe that this number will rise with the proposed changes to the law.

In addition, the UK government will introduce a new bill next week that will automatically bar those who cross the English Channel illegally from claiming asylum.

Anyone caught doing this will be held in custody and sent back to their home country or another safe country while their asylum claim is reviewed.

More than twice as many people have entered the United Kingdom across the English Channel so far this year compared to the same time last year (1,484). Most travelers are from Afghanistan, but an increasing number are also coming from India.

The Home Office estimates that 85,000 people will make the trip this year.