Right now, there are an estimated 40 million people trapped in modern slavery worldwide. It may shock you to know that the UK Government identified that up 13,000 people are modern slavery victims within this country.
Since the pandemic, there has been a clear danger of labor exploitation. And, as a recruiter, it’s our duty to protect people against the danger of modern slavery. We have a dedicated compliance team which works alongside government bodies, the UK police and other initiatives. In 2020, our parent company, Staffline– assisted with 57 investigations which lead to the rescue of 19 potential modern slavery victims.
But what exactly is modern slavery, and how can you spot the signs?
Modern slavery is the severe exploitation of people for personal or commercial gain. Sadly, it’s all around us. It could be the people making our clothes, working as cleaners, those in factories, picking crops…everywhere within the workforce.
Many will have fallen into this trap as they were trying to escape poverty and live a better life. From the outside, they look like they have a normal everyday job. But secretly, they face control, violence and threats.
Sometimes it’s hard to define what constitutes slavery. But if a person is forced into work for which they didn’t offer voluntarily, and they are not free to leave – due to a mental or physical threat, its slavery.
77% of companies operating within the UK think there is a likelihood of modern slavery occurring in their supply chains.
The Modern Slavery Act in the UK has done a good job of helping to identify, combat and raise awareness of slavery. But we can all do more.
Here’s how to spot the signs of modern slavery, human trafficking and forced labor.
• Do they appear to be under the control of someone?
• Are they reluctant to interact with others?
• Are they wearing the same clothes every day?
• Can they appear frightened or withdrawn?
• Are they always dropped off and collected for work in the same way?
• Do they work unusual times - very early or late at night?
If you believe you have spotted someone who might be a victim, do not intervene. Simply call the police or contact Crimestoppers.
And if you are a business which wants to take responsibility, raise awareness and demonstrate your commitment to being ethical, take a first step by firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Staffline teams are aware of the impact of modern slavery. It forms an integral part of the welcome day for new starters. But most importantly, it’s at the core of our ethos – keeping workers at the heart of everything we do.