Frustrating and Defeating Slavery in our Rural areas:
Modern slavery or human trafficking degrades and dehumanises victims as slavery always has done. It excludes, isolates and make people invisible. And it is happening almost everywhere. It does not need chains, because it is based in inducing fear and using threat, physical, mental and emotional, often against other family members elsewhere. Or, it places people in debt, they can never recover from. It removes hope.
Modern day slavery and human trafficking has a definition in United Nations that is reflected in the UK Modern Slavery Act. It is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons by improper means, such as force, abduction, fraud, or coercion of any kind, for an improper purpose, including forced labour and sexual exploitation. It takes many forms in society.
- It is driven by crime, the drugs trade and immense financial return at a low risk of being caught.
- You are unlikely in the winding lanes of Shropshire to encounter a police patrol. It can be organised by gangs and can move freely from Liverpool or London to rural areas such as yours.
- it can be hidden or be active in plain sight, through seasonal, occasional and illegal supply of labour. It can be pop-up brothels, even family organised sex exploitation.
The United Nations Association Shropshire endorsed the setting up of a partnership of organisations to work together to raise more awareness of Modern Slavery today, to ally with lead organisations of the West Mercia Police and Fire and Rescue Service, engaging in the process of eliminating slavery from the area of Hereford and Shropshire.
The partnership role is engaged in:
- education, raising awareness
- encouraging the protection of the most vulnerable; people
- ensuring that organisations serving the community are safe.
- supporting schools in protecting pupils.
UN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
In the world the UN says that more than 40 million people are in some form of slavery, exploitation and trafficking across the world, including most counties. It is known that some 10 million children are in labour or sexual exploitation.
In the UK it is likely that some 136,000 people are vulnerable and much more is hidden. So, it is a global crime that crosses borders and it often run from outside of countries. So, we think globally and act locally where we are.
Modern Slavery is present wherever there is poverty, lack of opportunity for decent work, inequalities of all forms, poor education, violence and war. A number of the UN Development Goals are allied together to bring about its demise.