Over 18 our of members gathered for their annual Headline sponsors lunch, supported by Bailbrook House Hotel.
We were able to share a quick update on the project work achieved to date plus also hear from Hilary Agg of Unseen, the Bristol-based charity working to fight modern slavery. Hilary’s talk highlighted the fact that modern slavery is growing and quickly and how we, the public need to be aware of what is going on around us.
Did you know that your local car wash could, in fact, be using trafficked men and women?
The UK-wide Modern Slavery Helpline, which is operated by Unseen, was established in the autumn of 2016. New figures show dramatic increases in contacts to the Helpline during the first six months of 2018 (Jan – June_ compared to the same period in 2017:
- More than double the number of potential victims indicated: from over 1,500 in 2017 to more than 4,100 in 2018.
- 80% increase in calls and online reports: over 1,500 in 2017, to more than 2,700 in 2018.
Double the number of modern slavery cases: from over 450 in 2017 to more than 920 in 2018.
- 83% increase in referrals and signposts to law enforcement and other agencies: from over 870 in 2017 to more than 1590 in 2018.
- The National Crime Agency estimates that there are tens of thousands of people being held in modern slavery in the UK, trapped in situations such as forced labour, domestic servitude or sexual exploitation. In reality, the number could be far higher.
Unseen have released the Unseen App to make reporting to the Helpline even easier. The App provides a simple guide to recognising the signs of modern slavery and reporting concerns in confidence to free more victims of slavery. The app was developed for Unseen by the Helpline’s founding partner BT and can be found by searching ‘Unseen UK’ in app stores now.
We would encourage all our readers to download the app for free.
If you feel uncomfortable about something that you think may be happening in your area, then do something about it. Better than doing nothing!