ON Anti-Slavery Day, which happened on 18 October, the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire called on the Staffordshire business community to help stop the appalling trafficking and enslavement of humans.
Worldwide, an estimated 40,300,000 people live in slavery today and UK estimates are around 13,000.
In the 14 month period between January 2016 and March 2017, 17 victims of Modern Slavery in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent were taken to safety under the National Referral Mechanism run by the National Crime Agency
Modern slavery victims can be men, women and children but it is most common amongst the vulnerable, and within minority or socially excluded groups. Approximately two-thirds of victims are women, and a third are men. Every fourth victim of modern slavery is a child.
Currently only businesses with a turnover of over £36 million are required by law to assure that their supply chain is free from slavery but a call is going out to all businesses regardless of size to play their ethical and transparent part.
Sue Arnold, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner said: ‘Victims may not be in chains but they are scared and helpless. I’m calling on all businesses to sign a Modern Day Slavery Ethical Business Pledge and play an active role in wiping out this terrible crime . We can all play a part by being vigilant and reporting our suspicions.’
Any business wishing to sign the pledge can access it via the Staffs PCC web site at staffordshire-pcc.gov.uk/modern-slavery/
Slavery encompasses forced labour, domestic servitude, child labour, forced marriage and sex trafficking.
Slavery is closer than you think. It happens all over the world including the UK. Find out more at www.modernslavery.co.uk or call the helpline on 0800 0121 700.