Council outlines commitment to protect people from exploitation and to prevent modern slavery taking place

Anti-Slavery Day 2019 logo

18 October 2019 is Anti-Slavery Day which aims to raise awareness of human trafficking and modern slavery in the UK. Herefordshire Council wishes to take this opportunity to highlight its commitment to raise public awareness of the damaging effects of this ruinous trade. 

Herefordshire Council specifically commits to ensure there is no slavery or human trafficking linked to its sub-contractors or supply chains. 

Furthermore, the council outlines its intentions and actions in joining forces with national and local organisations to prevent individuals from being or becoming vulnerable to modern slavery. 

Councillor Liz Harvey, Herefordshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Services, said: 

“Modern slavery has a devastating impact on its victims, their families and the communities in which it takes place. It can often be a hidden crime which goes undetected for years. Herefordshire Council is absolutely committed to using its influence and regulatory responsibilities in every way possible to prevent and to act positively against exploitation and slavery wherever it might occur. We are keen to use our own resources and our work with partner networks to educate the public, to reach people who might be victims and to identify the perpetrators of this pernicious crime.”

Modern slavery can take a number of different forms including: child slavery; criminal exploitation; domestic servitude – where people are forced to work in unbearable conditions; forced labour – where people are forced to work for little or no pay; sexual exploitation and people trafficking.

If you suspect exploitation is taking place in Herefordshire, call West Mercia Police on 101, or 999 if someone is in immediate danger. Alternatively to protect an adult from abuse, call Herefordshire Council on 01432 260715.

Spotting the signs of modern slavery 

Modern slavery is real and it is happening all around us. It has a devastating impact on victims and often a hidden crime can go undetected for years. The good news is that anyone can spot the signs to help stamp out exploitation. 

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
  • dropped off and collected for work always in the same way, especially at unusual times, i.e. very early or late at night.

If you suspect that someone is in slavery, DO NOT approach them or cause a scene, as this will likely lead to increased harm for them.

Anyone with concerns about modern slavery can call West Mercia Police on 101, or 999 if someone is in immediate danger. Alternatively to protect an adult from abuse, call Herefordshire Council on 01432 260715.