When modern slavery is mentioned, who do you generally think of as being the most likely victims? Recent press reports might just surprise you!
Modern Slavery is a term used for the exploitation and trafficking of workers and others. We would suggest that most people tend to think of this as something that predominantly affects foreign nationals here in the UK, with UK, and possibly even EU nationals, being much less likely to be at risk.
If the above is the case for anyone reading this, then a recent feature in the Daily Mail may be eye opening for you. Think in particular about those high street nail salons that seem to have popped up all around the country. Whilst the far greater majority of them are no doubt being run within the law, the generally cash only nature of these types of premises means that they are ideal for anyone who wants to launder money, or facilitate illegal immigration.
The Daily Mail has written a feature about part of the work of the National Crime Agency (NCA) modern slavery and human trafficking unit. According to the report, the NCA say that many victims of human trafficking have been found working in nail salons, with 500 modern slavery investigations into nail salons currently ongoing.
The article states that these nail salons are a prevalent area where Vietnamese victims are likely to be found, and they are predominately young males, who are lured into the country by the promise of work. The article goes on to say that more beauty and grooming salons have opened in Britain since 2016 than any other type of business.
What might be even more surprising, is that Vietnamese nationals are the third highest group of victims discovered by the NCA, behind Albanian and UK nationals.
Modern slavery is very much something that we can all do something about, just by being aware of it, and being prepared to report any suspicions. Of course it is not just limited to nail salons, as a report by the BBC makes all too clear. The report talks about a great initiative by the Church of England where churchgoers are being encouraged to use an app to report suspicions of modern slavery encountered at car washes.
We work closely with the Gangmasters Licensing and Abuse Authority (GLAA) training their staff in the interviewing of victims and witnesses to Modern Slavery Act offences, and we have also created a day long modern slavery awareness course aimed at businesses and staff who might have modern slavery issues in their supply line (which could be just about any business).
Please do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to know more about how we could help you in this vital area.