Conference delegates unite to fight modern slavery

 

In light of the statistic that there are now more slaves than at any time in history, a conference in central Croydon will look at ways slavery can be tackled and, ultimately, eradicated from the borough.

Prevention of Modern Slavery in Croydon is a free half-day event that will feature 10 guest speakers, including Tamara Barnett, project leader for the Human Trafficking Foundation; Councillor Tony Newman, leader of Croydon Council; and Peter Cox, chairman of Croydon Community Against Trafficking.

Scheduled for Thursday 10 November, between 9am and 1pm, at Croydon Conference Centre, Surrey Street, the conference aim is to develop understanding about the scale and depth of modern slavery and its impact on the victim.

The term “modern slavery” – often referred to as human trafficking – encompasses slavery for the purposes of sexual exploitation, servitude, and forced and compulsory labour. Traffickers and slave drivers coerce, deceive and force individuals against their will into a life of inhumane treatment.

Professor Bernard Silverman, chief scientific officer to the Home Office, has estimated that in 2013 there were between 10,000 and 13,000 potential victims of modern slavery in the UK.

Research has shown that 65% of the world’s slaves are in a forced-labour situation; that it’s not just girls who are enslaved – 400,000 men and boys are being sexually exploited globally; and that, according to the United Nations, 46% of victims worldwide know their trafficker.

Conference delegates will hear about recent developments, such as the Modern Slavery Act 2015, and what support options are available for victims of modern slavery.

They will get the chance to share experiences, consider their own role in identifying and assisting victims, and how they might be able to contribute to Croydon’s action plan.

Councillor Tony Newman, leader of the council

“Slavery is abhorrent. We must do everything we can to eliminate it and we must work together to protect vulnerable people. And that’s why I think the conference is so vital in us collectively making a real difference to this huge issue.”

To reserve a place, email antony.botting@croydon.gov.uk

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