We abolished slavery years ago didn’t we?
Liz Longman and I recently attended an eye opening Anti-Slavery conference being run by Stronger Together, a new multi stakeholder initiative set up to support companies to tackle Modern Slavery within their businesses and supply chains.
Here are the facts:
- In 1833 slavery was abolished in the United Kingdom.
- In October 2015 the Modern Slavery Act came into force and now all UK businesses with a turnover of £36 million or more, who are currently trading in the UK, will need to publish an annual Modern Slavery statement showing what they are doing to address and prevent slavery in their supply chains.
- Human trafficking is quickly becoming the fastest growing criminal activity in the world. Criminals have realised that this is a very lucrative business.
So why are we hearing 3099 individuals were rescued from slavery in the UK alone in 2014? In the UK!
Who is at risk?
Quite bluntly the vulnerable. There are cases of UK nationals being exploited, however it is mainly migrant workers who are victims of labour trafficking or forced labour.
- Exploiters will quickly put victims into a position where they are forced to work to pay off financial debts, for transport, rent and food.
- The victims and their families are threatened with violence should they not repay this money.
- The victims are forced to open bank accounts, have the debit cards taken from them, loans and HP are taken out in the victim’s name.
- Passports are taken from the victims; they have no escape route.
- The Victims are forced to live in appalling conditions.
How to spot the signs of Exploitation
- Signs of physical or psychological abuse.
- Appear malnourished, dirty, frightened or withdrawn, avoid eye contact.
- No money, personal belongings, only one set of clothing.
- Have others speak for them at recruitment opportunities.
- Are driven to and from place of work.
So what next?
- Ensure your business follows good practice.
- Know who you are supplying, ensure their safety.
- Learn the signs to look out for.
- Report any suspicions!
Do you know who you are supplying??
For more information and downloadable documents please visit the Stronger Together website.
Tel: 01730 890476 or email firstname.lastname@example.org