Friday links: Terrible truth about tomatoes and slavery thrives because its hidden

Every Friday we share the latest news on modern slavery and human trafficking in the UK. Keep up to date by following us on twitter (@theclewer) or Facebook, where we will share the article each week, or sign up to our monthly newsletter

Slavery thrives because it's hidden: we need to learn to ask questions, says CofE bishop

Bishop Alastair Redfern responds to a new report into police practice which suggests that police are "failing to tackle modern slavery and human trafficking because the cases are too difficult and senior officers believe the public lack sympathy for the victims". The Bishop of Derby described the report as a "wake-up call" for police, but also urged the general public to ask questions about suspicious behaviour they might notice. You can read more about cases that went wrong in this report from The Guardian

This report is a wake-up call and a challenge not just to the police, but to all of us. Slavery thrives because it is “hidden”. We each need to become more vigilant, and to ask questions about people and situations that seem out of order.
— Bishop Alastair Redfern, the BIshop of Derby

Modern slavery victims to receive longer period of support

The Home Office has announced big changes to the support provided to the victims of modern slavery found in the UK. It includes an extended period of support for confirmed victims - from 14 days to 45 - and additional 'drop-in' support for six months afterwards, designed to help survivors to transition into a normal life. It's worth reading the release in full for more details.  

This government has taken world-leading action to tackle this abhorrent crime, and we have been clear that the welfare victims and potential victims is at the heart of everything we do. The reforms announced today represent a major step forward in improving the support and protection provided to victims, helping them reintegrate into society after their unimaginable ordeal and protecting them from being retrafficked.
— Sarah Newton MP, Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability

How the home of Robin Hood is trying to free itself of modern slavery

An article by Alison Gardner from the University of Nottingham about the Slavery-free city initiative which is being piloted in Nottingham. A year ago the Nottinghamshire police chief committed to making the city and county slavery-free, and now local businesses, charities, and people have pledged to join in. 

While people may be trafficked from anywhere in the world, modern slavery is also a very local issue. The recent case of Nottinghamshire farmer Jon Hammond is one example. During a casual conversation at an office Christmas party, one of his employees confided to another that he had been trafficked to the UK and was being exploited by his landlord. In June 2017, the landlord was jailed for eight years after admitting to charges of human trafficking and forced labour.

The terrible truth about your tin of Italian tomatoes

Reporting from the Guardian into the case of a labourer in Italy who died after having a heart attack in the field and being denied medical attention. Since the death of Abdullah Muhammed, Italian prosecutor Paola Guglielmi has been looking into workers' conditions on Italy's tomato farms. She describes them as "conditions of absolute exploitation". 

Like thousands of other workers, Muhammed’s day would start at 4am and he would work until 5pm handpicking tomatoes in the fierce heat of the southern Italian summer. Labour abuses listed in the court documents include working for 12 hours a day, seven days a week, without breaks, with minimal pay and no access to medical staff.

That's it from us this week. Keep up to date with us the rest of the week by following us on twitter (@theclewer) or Facebook, where we will share the article each week, or sign up to our monthly newsletter