To raise awareness of Modern Slavery with key workers and groups who continue to work in the community during lockdown restrictions, the South Yorkshire Modern Slavery Partnership has launched the ‘Curiosity Counts’ campaign this week (15 March).
Modern Slavery is a hidden crime affecting adults and children across the UK, including here in South Yorkshire; it involves the exploitation of people often for the financial benefit of others and has not stopped in lockdown. People may experience multiple forms of exploitation or abuse, but the most common forms include sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation, labour exploitation and domestic servitude.
Exploiters may have changed their tactics during lockdown to reduce detection, moving their victims from one form of exploitation to another. There are also concerns that the current reduction in face-to-face service has created new challenges to identifying and supporting potential victims.
Dr Alan Billings, Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire, said: “Unlike slavery in the past, modern slavery is ‘hidden in plain sight’. Spotting the signs of exploitation requires us all to be alert and so be aware of who may be trapped in a form of slavery. Reporting that could save someone from harm. It is vitally important that anyone working in communities, especially during the lockdown period, who has any concerns reports them and helps to protect these very vulnerable individuals.”
The Curiosity Counts campaign aims to increase the understanding of Modern Slavery with those working in and with the community in South Yorkshire so they can recognise the signs of exploitation and report their concerns.
Join in with the Curiosity Counts campaign:
- Download and share the Curiosity Counts poster and Modern Slavery Overview.
- Get trained in a free online session:
- Watch and share these two new animations:
Nicola Lambe CEO of Ashiana said, “We’ve all had to adapt to meet the challenges of lockdown. The reduction of face-to-face services means fewer opportunities to intervene in exploitative situations, so it is important that we are all curious about the signs Modern Slavery when working with the community.
“We are pleased to join key partners to increase awareness of the signs of Modern Slavery in our communities and hope everyone understands why Curiosity Counts.”
Keep up with the conversation on social media. Follow us on Twitter @SouthYorksMSP and #CuriosityCounts.