Spotting slavery - council issues list of warning signs.
Byline: CHARLOTTE PAXTON News Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
COUNCIL bosses have urged people to be aware of the signs of slavery - after the authority pledged to help protect those vulnerable to violence and exploitation.
A checklist of warning signs has been issued by Sandwell Council, where last month chiefs approved an anti-slavery policy.
The policy includes a statement in which the council says it is 'absolutely committed' to preventing slavery and human trafficking in its corporate activities and to ensuring its supply chains are free from slavery and human trafficking. In 2014, the Home Office estimated there to be between 10,000 and 13,000 victims in the UK - with many being children. Councillor Syeda Khatun, deputy leader at Sandwell Council, said: "We must do all we can to eradicate modern slavery in the UK and protect victims of slavery and human trafficking.
With are we have trafficking. "Signs of slavery and exploitation are often hidden and victims can be any age, gender, ethnicity or nationality. With this new policy, we are setting out the steps we have already taken to ensure slavery and trafficking do not occur within our supply chains.
"We also commit to using all powers available to us under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 to identify these crimes and bring the perpetrators to justice. We will continue to work have already taken to ensure slavery and trafficking do not occur within our supply chains. Syeda Khatun closely with other councils and partner organisa-tions, including the police, to tackle these crimes and are also supporting the West Midlands Modern Slavery Network."
The council approved the modern day slavery statement and policy on November 15.
The document has now been formally signed by the council's leader Steve Eling and chief executive Jan Britton. Examples of modern slavery can include forced labour, child trafficking, domestic servitude and criminal exploitation.
Although signs of slavery and exploitation can often be hidden, victims can be any age, gender, ethnicity or nationality.
Key things to look out for: | several unrelated adults living at a single address; | people being regularly collected very early in the morning and/or returned late at night; | signs of injury, malnourishment and a general untidy appearance | people being isolated from the rest of the community; | people who live and work at the same address in poor conditions; | women being kept in houses where there are large numbers of male visitors; | people who don't know their address; | people who cannot produce their documents; | people who often seem anxious and fearful, especially in the presence of a 'friend' or interpreter who appears to be controlling them and their answers.
With this new policy, we are setting out the steps we have already taken to ensure slavery and trafficking do not occur within our supply chains. Syeda Khatun
Immigration and police on a modern slavery/ human trafficking raid