Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa today backed a national video campaign featuring the powerful testimony of a modern slavery victim.
Four short videos have been released by West Yorkshire PCC Mark Burns-Williamson to mark the United Nations’ ‘World Day Against Trafficking in Persons’ and feature the graphic account of a modern slavery victim who was trapped in forced labour for 15 years.
During the interviews, the victim recounts his experiences of violence, how it has deeply affected his life and the partnership support he has received to help him recover.
Mr Dhindsa, who joined campaigners in appealing for the public to report their suspicions, said: “Human trafficking is a very real threat facing our communities and we must do all we can to protect victims from harm now and in the future.
“I applaud the courage of this survivor in speaking out and sharing his experiences to increase awareness of the issue and encourage anyone suspicious about trafficking or slavery to report their concerns immediately.
“Mental and physical violence are still commonplace in these situations and safeguarding victims’ remains our highest priority. To do this, we need to educate professionals as well as ordinary members of the public what to look out for so we can act early. We also need to ensure vulnerable people are not lured into exploitation by targeting traffickers and disrupting their illegal activities.”
Modern slavery is the umbrella term to describe a series of situations in which people are forced to work through coercion, mental or physical threat, owned or controlled by an employer through mental or physical abuse, dehumanised or treated as a commodity or physically restrained or have restrictions placed on their freedom.
Most commonly victims are trafficked into forced labour in industries such as agriculture, construction, hospitality, manufacturing and car washes while many women and girls are trafficked for sexual exploitation.
The survivor featured in the new video campaign is being supported by Yorkshire based charity Palm Cove Society and wants to remain anonymous.
He said: “I was forced to dig out driveways ready for block paving and tarmacking, and if I didn’t work, I got beaten up.
“I was in a trailer, no windows in it, no doors, and every time it rained I got wet.
“It affected me a lot because they were taking my money off me.”
The videos highlight the treatment he received at the hands of criminals and are filmed in four themes; forced labour, living conditions, support for victims and how his experience affected him.
Communities continue to have a key role to play in stopping modern slavery.
We need you to report any suspicions, no matter how small, to the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 or to the Police.
General indicators of human trafficking or modern slavery can include signs of physical or psychological abuse, fear of authorities, irregular activity at homes or addresses, poor living conditions and working long hours for little or no pay. By reporting suspicions you could be saving lives.
To watch the videos visit:
Forced labour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnaWpJvB60Y
Living conditions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSNjV06tyL0
Support for victims: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPogjD87hDo
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Tuesday 30th July 2019