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Help stop modern slavery – spots the signs

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Devon County Council (DCC) has reaffirmed its commitment to eliminate all forms of modern slavery and human trafficking in the county.

Modern slavery is a form of exploitation where people have control over another person and force them to perform work or services.

Modern slavery is a real issue that damages lives; last year alone there were 442 referrals of potential slavery cases in the South West, and 87 of those were in Devon and Cornwall.

DCC is part of the Devon and Torbay Anti-Slavery Partnership and recently published a Modern Slavery Statement, which enshrines the authority’s commitment to supporting victims and safeguarding those who are at risk.

The publication of the statement coincides with the 10th Anti-Slavery Day on Sunday October 18.

The statement also outlines DCC’s responsibilities, its priorities and, alongside its partners, its strategy to eradicate slavery in the county.

Modern day slavery can take many forms, including labour, criminal and sexual exploitation and domestic servitude. It is a hidden crime – the person being exploited may feel too afraid to tell anyone that they are being exploited, and their exploitation may be hidden from public view.

The statement details how the authority works with partners including other local authorities, the police and charities to tackle the problem.

DCC works through the Safer Devon Partnership, which provides strategic leadership for community safety matters across the county, and the Devon and Torbay Anti-Slavery Partnership, which operates jointly between the Safer Devon Partnership and Safer Communities Torbay.

Additionally, DCC’s frontline staff have a vital role to play with Adult and Children’s Social Care staff, Trading Standards officers and health visitors being among those who help spot the signs of modern slavery and human trafficking and help to support victims.

More generally, DCC requires all contractors and suppliers to demonstrate their supply chain is free from, for example, child labour and forced labour.

Councillor John Hart, Leader of Devon County Council, said: “Devon County

Photo of Councillor John Hart
Councillor John Hart, Leader of Devon County Council

Council is committed to identifying and eradicating all forms of modern slavery in our county and to supporting its victims.

“Everyone has a role to play; by knowing what it looks like, recognising it when they see it and then taking action by reporting it to the police we can stamp out this modern scourge.”

For help, advice and information call the Modern Slavery confidential 24/7 helpline on: 08000 121 700 or call the Police on their non-emergency number: 101

Read DCC’s Modern Day Slavery Statement by clicking HERE.