The Week Unwrapped: Forced labour, virtual bailiffs and Cumbrian coal
Are British companies doing enough about modern slavery? How can we regulate digital repossessions? And why are we still opening new coal mines?
Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters from the past seven days.
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In this week’s episode, we discuss:
UK companies will face fines for buying goods linked to Chinese forced labour camps under new government plans. But campaigners are warning that modern slavery is also rampant in Britain, as three victims who were subcontracted to work for Biffa prepare to sue the recycling firm for damages. So how can businesses help tackle the growing problem - and is enough being done?
A court ruling has opened up the possibility that bailiffs can now take possession of goods without visiting the home of the person who has fallen into debt. Instead, they can survey and value the property by video call. Some campaigners have welcomed this as a first step towards reforming a system which can be traumatic for many who find themselves drawn into it - while others have questioned whether it will work.
The UK government has declined to intervene after Cumbria council granted permission for the development of a new coal mine. Environmentalists say the decision undermines UK efforts to secure a deal on carbon-reduction - and makes a mockery of the government’s commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.