367 words. Approx 1.5 minutes to read.
Last week, I chaired a roundtable with the Co-op on their Bright Future programme, which helps victims of modern slavery get back into work, through a paid work placement and a job in their food business. This level of security for victims of modern slavery offers them a chance to rebuild their lives and continue on the path to recovery.
The roundtable invited other businesses to join with the Co-op on their plan of action by offering work placements of their own. Should this programme be scaled up, it may therefore be possible for all victims of modern slavery to go into work, should they choose to do so.
However, the meeting also clearly highlighted that there is more work to be done on many fronts. Firstly, victims of modern slavery are often not given leave to remain in the UK. They therefore do not have a secure immigration status and may be sent back to destitution and danger in their own country.
Secondly, those lucky enough to be given leave to remain in the UK may not be granted to right to work. This means that even though placements like Co-op’s Bright Future may be on offer, victims of modern slavery will not be able to participate.
How you can lend your support
The meeting showed that UK victims of modern slavery are being let down by an inadequate level of support from Government. That’s why both the Co-op and myself are supporting the #FreeForGood campaign which calls on the Government to provide more support for victims of slavery by supporting a new Victims of Modern Slavery Bill introduced by Lord MColl.
You can lend your support quickly and easily online, simply;
- visit the Free for Good campaign website
- enter your postcode
- add your name to the email written for you, which calls on your local MP to back the bill
This excellent work by the Co-op and other businesses must not be hindered by the lack of action from the Government. We must therefore work to uphold the spirit of the Modern Slavery Act and allow people the chance to stay and rebuild their lives in the UK, if that is what they wish.
Read more on our campaign to tackle modern slavery;