Anti-Slavery Day was held on Wednesday the 18th of October, and to commemorate the day, The Salvation Army launched its new animated film highlighting the problem of modern slavery, also called human trafficking. The film focussed on the signs people can look for to spot modern slavery, enabling the public to identify people at risk and help combat the crime.
The Salvation Army has always been at the front of the fight against modern slavery, but in July 2011, it was given national support through a government contract to cover all adult victims in England and Wales. Among many vital services, The Salvation Army helps survivors get the medical, legal, and emotional support they desperately need to recover and rejoin society.
Last year The Salvation Army’s work received public support from Princess Eugenie, who asked people to make themselves aware of the supply chain for their favourite goods and services. They were asked to publish their reviews on social media using the hashtags #askthquestion and #slavefree.
The Salvation Army’s new animated film builds on that campaign to increase public awareness and participation so that the everyday man and woman on the street can help the people combat the crime.
The film brings to life the common indicators of modern slavery, taking viewers through the different types of encounters they might have with potential victims. It also provides contact information for where people report suspicious activity. The film draws on The Salvation Army’s unique insight into modern slavery through its vital support work with victims. [Watch here.]
Princess Eugenie has continued to support the fight against modern slavery by working to raise public awareness and providing encouragement to survivors by visiting women at a Salvation Army safe house in Yorkshire.
The princess visited the safe house earlier in 2017, and talked to some of the women and staff there about the emotional and practical support being provided. Some of the women she met come from as far afield as Uganda, Vietnam, Albania, and Lithuania. They came to the UK on the strength of promises of legitimate work, but instead found themselves caught in sexual exploitation, bound by physical and psychological abuse.
Princess Eugenie said, “For me, these amazing women are such an inspiration in the courage they show in overcoming what has happened to them and their desire to help others. It is important that everyone understands the reality of the horrendous experiences these women have had to face and that this kind of exploitation is happening every day in every community in our country.”
Thanks to The Salvation Army’s support
Thanks to the support from The Salvation Army, countless women have managed to find their feet and successfully rejoin society. However, it’s important to recognise the need for support from public icons, such as Princess Eugenie.
The Salvation Army’s Director of Anti Trafficking and Modern Slavery, Major Ann Read, said, “We are extremely grateful for the support Princess Eugenie has shown in coming to visit some of the people we support. Before coming to our safe house, these ladies were treated as nothing more than commodities to be bought and sold by their traffickers and made to feel worthless. To know that Princess Eugenie attaches importance to meeting them and hearing their stories has been powerful in helping them recover a sense of their own value.”
She added, “This also was important for our staff, who work tirelessly to support the people in our care … We now need everyone in the UK to recognise the uncomfortable truth that modern slavery is taking place all around us. Everyone should make it their business to understand what to look for and who to tell and we’d urge anyone who wants to join our fight against modern slavery to watch the animation we’ve made, to help them know what the signs are to look out for, that anyone could come across in everyday life.”
Anyone who suspects they or someone they encounter could be a victim of modern slavery can call The Salvation Army’s confidential referral line 0300 303 8151 available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Find out how to take part in The Salvation Army’s #askthequestion #slavefree social media campaign to call on businesses to review their supply chains to ensure they are #slavefree.