The overall aims of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 are to pursue organised criminals and opportunistic individuals behind the modern-day slave trade and to prevent people from engaging in modern slavery crime. Other aims are to protect vulnerable people by raising awareness and protecting them from becoming victims and to be better prepared for when these crimes do take place and reduce the harm they cause.
Modern Slavery is estimated to be one of the world's most profitable criminal activities. A 2014 assessment conducted by the Home Office estimated that there were between 10,000 and 13,000 victims in the UK. Sexual exploitation is the most common form of modern slavery currently reported by potential victims in the UK, followed by labour exploitation, forced criminal exploitation and domestic servitude.
The legal duty relates to the functions of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner whose role is to act in the interests of victims and potential victims by ensuring that the law enforcement response to modern slavery is coordinated.
Section 43 of the Act states that specified public authorities (including borough councils) have a duty to co-operate with the Commissioner.
The Commissioner's Strategic Plan was published in October 2015. One of the identified priorities is "...best practice within partnership working" based on the following models:
Section 54 of the Act also requires the Council to consider Modern Slavery as part of its procurement strategy, ensuring that contractors and third parties have policies in place and adhere to the law and their responsibilities.
Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act requires the Council to publish a statement of the steps it has taken to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in any of its supply chains, or in any part of its business. You can see this statement published within the 'Related Documents' section immediately below.
Modern Slavery Act 2015 - Transparency Statement 2019/20
For enquiries or information, please contact email@example.com for Safeguarding or firstname.lastname@example.org for equality.
All Suppliers to the Council will be asked to confirm that they/their organisation has, and will, take action to address risks to human rights identified within itself and its supply chain. This action is to include the adoption of a whistleblowing policy that enables staff to blow the whistle on any suspected examples of modern slavery.
All of the following signs may be indicators of concern:
If you come into contact with an individual, look out for the following:
Some of the above may also be indicators of abuse, neglect or other forms of exploitation. Victims of Modern Slavery can be found in private houses, and commercial premises including but not limited to nail bars, car washes and fast food establishments. Wherever you are receiving a service below the market rate, you should be alert to possible signs of exploitation.
If you come across single signs/ indicators in isolation or in combination, you should report your concerns: This may be the only chance we have to prevent harm, or further harm, from occurring to a vulnerable individual.
In an emergency always call the Police on 999
UK City Transparency Map
In partnership with GOV.UK, TISCreport has published a live ‘transparency map’ to show ‘how local authorities are using their buying power to begin to drive modern slavery and labour exploitation out of their supply chains.’ Councils can upload their suppliers onto the site and see which ones comply with the Modern Slavery Act, and users can click on any council which has joined the scheme to see how many of its suppliers have complied with the Act or have produced a modern slavery statement (including Colchester Borough Council - click on the map in the link shown below).