Today, the 2nd of December, marks the 70th anniversary of United Nations adopting the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others. Though the international community has made some strides in eradicating modern forms of slavery we still have a long way to go.
Currently, there are approximately 40 million people living in slavery worldwide with the number of UK slavery victims surging by 72% in the last year. Campaigners have stated the rise may simply be due to a higher number of cases being reported as increased information has led to more people being able to identify the warning signs.
But even with this increase in reports and convictions, there are astonishingly few resources being committed to tackling this issue on both a local and international scale so how can we play our part in this?
Look out for the warning signs:
Someone in slavery might:
- appear to be under the control of someone else and reluctant to interact with others
- not have personal identification on them
- have few personal belongings, wear the same clothes every day or wear unsuitable clothes for work
- not be able to move around freely
- be reluctant to talk to strangers or the authorities
- appear frightened, withdrawn, or show signs of physical or psychological abuse
- evidence of untreated injuries
- dropped off and collected for work always in the same way, especially at unusual times, i.e. very early or late at night
- workers don’t know their own work or home address
What to do if you suspect someone is a victim of slavery:
If you suspect that someone is in slavery, DO NOT confront them or cause a scene as this will likely lead to increased harm for them. Instead, inform relevant authorities or organisations working in the field such as the police or call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 or fill out an online form.
Number of British modern slavery victims up 72% in a year, figures show: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/modern-slavery-victims-trafficking-county-lines-home-office-a9153486.html
Latest figures reveal more than 40 million people are living in slavery: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/sep/19/latest-figures-reveal-more-than-40-million-people-are-living-in-slavery
Spot the signs of slavery: https://www.antislavery.org/slavery-today/spot-the-signs-of-slavery/