East Sussex County Council has signed a joint pledge on modern slavery coordinated by the Sussex Anti-Slavery Network. This pledge commits the Council to work proactively with local and national bodies to take actions such as demonstrating strong local leadership for anti-slavery initiatives, raising awareness, and removing slave-based labour from its supply chains.
October 18th is Anti-Slavery Day and provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the fact over 40 million people in the world today, and an estimated 136,000 people in the UK, are trapped in conditions of modern slavery. Modern slavery is an umbrella term used to describe situations of exploitation where people are exploited for financial gain. It refers to situations that a person cannot refuse or leave because of threats, violence, coercion, deception and/or abuse of power and vulnerability. It encompasses practices such as slavery, forced labour or compulsory labour, debt bondage, human trafficking, domestic servitude, and sexual exploitation.
Anti-Slavery Day is a reminder to all of us that slavery is not resigned to the annals of history, it is a crime and it is happening now ‘hidden in plain sight’ in East Sussex. People, adults and children, are being enslaved, bought and sold, and transported across international borders but also nationally and within East Sussex. They are being forced into prostitution, into domestic servitude, their labour is being exploited or they are being forced to steal or distribute illegal drugs.
If you’re a frontline service or professional that may encounter modern slavery, the Unseen app will help you Spot the Signs and report suspected cases. Download it free at: https://www.unseenuk.org/about-modern-slavery/download-the-app/ .
Professionals and all staff with a customer facing service role at ESCC are encouraged to access our ESCC training and resources available on Modern Slavery which includes e-learning on the ESCC Learning Portal East Sussex County Council: Log in to the site (learningpool.com). Just search ‘Modern Slavery’.