On anti-slavery day (18 October) Portsmouth City Council is asking residents to understand what modern slavery is and how to report concerns.
Someone is in slavery if they are:
- Forced to work
- Owned or controlled by an ’employer’
- Treated as a commodity or property
- Have restrictions placed on their freedom of movement
It is everyone’s responsibility to look for slavery and report any suspicions or incidents – working together, it can be stopped. It can happen to anyone, any age: one in four victims of modern slavery are children.
Portsmouth City Council is also committed to preventing slavery and human trafficking in its corporate activities and to ensuring that the services it commissions (and where applicable, supply chains) are free from slavery and human trafficking.
The council have asked independent auditors to review two of their most significant contacts to see how the contractors and their subcontractors and supply chain are addressing modern slavery. They will also be developing their procurement processes, contract management practices and overlying governance structures to put in place pro-active modern slavery due diligence and monitoring measures which is informed by recognised best practice on an ongoing basis.
Councillor Chris Attwell, Portsmouth City Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Central Services said: “We are committed to preventing slavery and human trafficking and will continue to look at what we can do as a council to tackle this issue.
“We are an active member of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Modern Slavery Partnership and work across the city and with the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office to raise awareness of the signs of modern slavery, identifying those vulnerable to it and responding with partners to reports and incidents.
“I encourage residents to find out more about modern slavery, understand the warning signs and report any concerns.”
Modern Slavery survivors will be sharing their compelling stories at the Slavery Unmasking The Truth exhibition which will visit three Portsmouth’s libraries from 16 November 2021. Find out more at www.modernslaverypartnership.org.uk
If you have any concerns, you can contact the Modern Slavery and Exploitation helpline (UK) at www.modernslaveryhelpline.org/ or by calling 08000 121 700.
For more information visit www.portsmouth.gov.uk/modernslavery