Submission to The House of Lords Select Committee on the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (by Samantha Radford MBACP and Steven Unthank)

The House of Lords Committee on the Modern Slavery Act 2015 called for written evidence for its inquiry into the impact and effectiveness of the 2015 Modern Slavery Act. It invited interested individuals and organisations to submit their views on these.

This submission includes the observations and input of individuals in situations related to ‘coercive control’ and its perceived overlapping into the area of ‘slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour’. It includes the lived experience of two former Jehovah’s Witnesses, one of whom resides in Australia, and the other in the UK.

Steven Unthank described himself as one of hundreds of forced young child labourers working on building and construction sites in Australia under the control of International Bible Students Association (IBSA) of Britain.

Samantha Radford stated she was born into the high-control religious group known as Jehovah’s Witnesses and spent the first forty years of her life within the insular, closed group. An example of this was that for all of her childhood, and adult life up until leaving in 2020, she was coerced by religious doctrine to always wear a skirt for any religious activity, and that wearing trousers would be considered an act of rebellion.

Submission to Modern Slavery UK March 2024 Samantha Radford and Steven Unthank