A new report has revealed a spike in the number of slavery victims supported by The Salvation Army in London.
Released to coincide with Anti-Slavery Day (Friday 18 October) the report finds that:
· Between July 2018 and June 2019, 1,045 victims were London-based and needed support from The Salvation Army.
· This is a sharp increase from 774 people the previous year.
· A quarter of all British victims last year were in London, more than any other region.
To help raise awareness of how widespread slavery is, The Salvation Army is urging people to wear a #WeAreNotForSale temporary tattoo and to post images of the tattoo on social media. The tattoo takes the form of a barcode to symbolise how slavery treats a person as if they can be bought and sold. The tattoos can be purchased via the Salvation Army website and in Salvation Army charity shops, all profits will pay for additional support for modern slavery victims.
Major Kathy Betteridge, The Salvation Army’s Director of Anti Trafficking and Modern Slavery, said: “It’s appalling that anyone is forced to work as a slave whether a British national or a victim from across the world.
“Our report shows that gangs target vulnerable people, often with mental health issues to act as drug runners, or to move cash. However, people are also being forced to work as slaves in places like farms, car washes, and even nail bars.
“By wearing the tattoo, you will help remind people to be aware of the signs that someone could be working as a slave near to you.
“If you suspect someone is being forced into slavery, call our confidential referral helpline on 0300 303 8151 anytime, day or night.”
The Salvation Army provides support for adult victims of modern slavery under a government contract to help slavery survivors get their lives back. In addition to this The Salvation Army offers grants for things like childcare costs to enable people to access education and training, and household items including furniture.