Anti-Slavery campaign to reach 270,000 people

October 15, 2015

A SOCIAL media campaign calling for an end to modern slavery is set to reach over 270,000 people on Anti-Slavery Day (Sunday 18 October) with an online flashmob via crowdspeaking platform Thunderclap.

The campaign has already gathered the support of 150 people who will use Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr to spread the same message that ‘Modern slavery is closer than you think, the UK has seen a 47% increase in victims since 2012’

Thunderclap is the first-ever crowdspeaking platform that helps people be heard by saying a single message at the same time.

Modern slavery can take many forms including the trafficking of people, forced labour, servitude and 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.

There were 1,746 potential victims of trafficking identified in the UK in 2013. This represents a 47% increase on 2012 referrals but these are just the victims we know about. Slavery’s hidden nature means actual numbers are likely to be much higher.

The campaign is leading up to a conference which is being held on the 10 December in Stafford. The conference is aimed at professionals and local businesses and will be held at the Staffordshire County Showground between 9.30am and 1.30pm. Speakers include Kevin Hyland, the UK’s Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Paul Broadbent, Chief Executive of Gangmasters Licensing Authority, and Gary Booth from national charity Hope for Justice. The conference is aimed at local businesses and professionals. Anyone interested in attending can register at http://modern-day-slavery-conference.eventbrite.co.uk

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Arnold said: “Modern day slavery is still happening across the UK and Staffordshire is not exempt. It is estimated 29.8 million people around the world are currently affected and it is an issue which we all need to face.

“Our aim with the conference is to make local businesses aware of what classifies as modern day slavery so they have the information to detect any illegal activity.

“This online campaign was a massive success with a huge reach. I hope it will help to raise awareness of modern slavery and create a call to end it completely.

“Thank you to everyone who supported this campaign, our voices are louder when we speak together.”

Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police, Jane Sawyers, said: “The Modern Day Slavery Act which received Royal assent March 2015 strengthens law enforcement’s powers to tackle Modern Day Slavery and improves provision for victims. Further provisions are also coming into force in October which will affect businesses. I would urge practitioners and local businesses in Staffordshire to attend this conference and find out more about this important issue.”