Significant wins for children’s rights on the Nationality and Borders Bill


Last night peers voted to prioritise child protection and mitigate damaging proposals on modern slavery and assessments of children’s ages in the Bill. As drafted, the Bill would reverse hard won rights and protections for child victims of modern slavery, but the five amendments successfully voted through by peers aim to exempt children from the Bill’s more harmful proposals, and ensure decision-making is based on children’s best interests.

Peers who voted through these amendments and campaigners across the anti-slavery sector will now call on MPs to uphold these changes when the Bill is sent back to the House of Commons, or risk putting children in the UK at greater risk for trafficking, exploitation and abuse.

  • Age assessments will be based on international legal principles, setting out an impartial and fair process for children
  • Children will not be penalised for missing deadlines on disclosing trauma and abuse
  • Children will not be excluded from protection if they have committed offences as a result of their exploitation
  • Support and immigration leave to remain will be delivered for all confirmed victims of modern slavery, as well as ensuring that immigration decisions for child victims are made according to their best interests as the only standard
  • Children will be protected by exemptions from the most harmful proposals in Part 5 of the Bill, retaining the current broader identification of child victims at the lower threshold, and ensuring that all decisions made by public authorities will be taken children’s best interests as a primary consideration.


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