Tag Archives: Modern slavery

2018 – Time for a real modern slavery strategy?

This piece was originally published by René Cassin. Buried in last December’s early snow was a report that revealed that the Home Office’s modern slavery strategy is a strategy in name only. Over two years after the implementation of the Modern Slavery Act, this is deeply troubling. The report from the National Audit Office alleged that the Home Office is still struggling with data collection, delays and victim support. Not only have these flaws hampered its goal of ending victims’ suffering, but ineffectiveness has also led to a misguided allocation of resources. What the NAO’s report demonstrates is a lack of cohesion in central government’s approach to modern slavery. Long tagged as Prime Minister Theresa May’s flagship policy, the reality beneath the slogans is that efforts to tackle trafficking and slavery have been patchy at best. In failing to define what progress would look like, the government has left it to local authorities, NGOs and the media to …

Modern slavery and the media: What we don’t know can hurt us

This piece was originally published by René Cassin. Who has read about John Lewis and Habitat’s decision to stop selling a range of granite worktops over worries that slaves played a part in making them? When the news broke early this month, only The Guardian and The Metro gave it airtime. An imbalance is hardening in the British media. What the public knows about modern slavery relates overwhelmingly to the prosecution and conviction of criminals. But that’s only a fraction of the story – and, when it comes to slavery, what we don’t know really can hurt us. The more mugshots fill front pages, the harder it is to see the bigger picture. For newspapers chasing headlines, supply chains and victim protection rarely fit the bill. At the centre of Britain’s problem with slavery, though, are the hidden tentacles of networks that reach well beyond our borders. Modern slavery is as much about the businesses and …

Freedom – or Freefall?

This piece was originally published as a blog post by René Cassin.   Imagine that everything is taken away from you. Forget your job. Forget your income, too. You have no home and no family you know how to contact. Imagine that you have 45 days to rebuild. And the clock is ticking. For former slaves, this isn’t merely a thought experiment. Last year, over 3,800 people went through the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) for victims of modern slavery. The government offered each of them just over six weeks of support in a safe house before cutting them loose. This is the cruel reality of the UK’s current modern slavery strategy. During those 45 days of what the government calls ‘reflection and recovery’, a victim’s first task is to prove that they are indeed a victim of slavery or human trafficking. If they can’t or don’t, the clock ticks faster: they have …