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Four key facts you need to know about Modern Slavery

18th October 2019

Anti-Slavery day on 18th October is a day to raise awareness of modern day slavery and human trafficking. The UK Government estimates there are tens of thousands of people in slavery in Britain today. In 2007, over 5,000 people were referred to British authorities as potential victims of slavery. An increase of a third since 2016. At People Solutions Group we are passionate about supporting the awareness of this incredibly important day. A day to encourage Government, local authorities, other companies and individuals to do what they can to support the problem. We are committed to understanding the true effects of modern slavery on today’s workforce which is why all of our staff attend modern slavery courses and refresher courses every six months. 

What is the government doing to stop modern slavery?

The Government is spending more and more on modern slavery each year in order to tackle the problem. In 2017/18 it was estimated the Government spent £39 million, rising to £61 million in 2018/19.

In 2014 the Government published a Modern Slavery Strategy which is still adhered to today. The strategy is based on the ‘four Ps’ – Pursue, Prevent, Protect and Prepare.

  • Pursue: Disrupt groups responsible for modern slavery and prosecute them
  • Prevent: Prevent people from engaging with modern slavery
  • Protect: Safeguard vulnerable people from exploitation and increase awareness of modern slavery
  • Prepare: Improve victim identification and offer them enhanced support

What’s the difference between slavery and human trafficking?

Human Trafficking is just one way of enslaving someone. The UN Palermo Protocol breaks down human trafficking into three different elements:

  • The acquisition of a person;
  • By means of deception or coercion;
  • For the purpose of exploitation

People are exploited in all manner of ways, such as sexual exploitation, forced labour, domestic servitude, forced criminal activity, sham marriages and organ removal. This can be in their own country or abroad. Human Trafficking is a global business and unfortunately is the source of lucrative profits for traffickers and organised crime networks.

Forced labour is the most common form of modern slavery and affects about 20 million people worldwide. As recruitment specialists we owe it to our employees, clients and colleagues to be vigilent for the signs of modern slavery.

What to look out for:

It’s important to understand that all cases of modern slavery and trafficking are different. There is no typical victim of slavery. Victims can be men, women and children of all ages all over the UK but it is normally more prevalent amongst the most vulnerable, minority or socially excluded groups. It’s often referred to as the ‘unseen crime’ as it’s happening in our communities, often without people realising. However there are some common signs for you to look out for:

  • A person who appears to have a lack of freedom – perhaps they have little documentation with them or they have to rely on unreliable lifts to and from work perhaps at odd times
  • They are happy to work for very little or no pay – they may also be reluctant to get paid and/or are working without a contract
  • They seem to be in debt to someone
  • They live in fear of someone and/or be wary of the authorities and also appear frightened or hesitant to talk to strangers for fear of knowing who to trust or where to get help, fear of deportation, fear of violence to them or their family
  • They may have signs of physical abuse, like cuts and bruises. They may also appear unkempt and undernourished 
  • They may appear scared or withdrawn. Individuals may show signs of psychological abuse too. They might appear frightened or confused

What to do if you suspect modern slavery:

If you think someone may be a victim of modern slavery it is best to contact the authorities directly instead of approaching the person, as approaching them could put them in danger.

Alternatively you can contact the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 or file a report on their website or report suspicions to them at the click of a button with the free Unseen App. 

You can also reach out to Crimestoppers or groups such as Anti-Slavery International and the Human Trafficking Foundation

There’s also lots of opportunities to fundraise, donate and raise awareness for the cause too. At People Solutions Group we understand the obligations on commercial businesses to spot the signs and behaviours of modern slavery, so we can act quickly and effectively. We hope that this blog post enables you to feel empowered to do the same.

For more information about more about People Solutions Group and the work that we do please visit here.