Friday links: protecting the homeless, the EU working in Libya, and raids in the North East and West

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


As winter arrives, churches and communities across the UK are opening their churches and community centres and running night shelters to provide a warm bed to those who have nowhere else to go But homeless people are still vulnerable to another danger: modern slavery. 

Homeless people across the UK are being targeted by people who want to exploit them for profit. They will recruit them on the streets, at soup kitchens, and at night shelters, promising them a job and a place to stay. That's why we got together with Housing Justice, Caritas Westminster and Capital Mass encouraging people volunteering in the homeless sector to spot the signs of slavery and report their concerns to the Modern Slavery Helpline. Watch the video and read more about the project here

EU to take part in Libya anti-slavery mission

The video from CNN of being people sold as slaves in Libya has shocked the world. It shows men being sold to the highest bidder at an auction, by a man who suggests they could be used for 'farm work' or 'digging'. Now French President Emmanuel Macron has announced that the EU will launch an operation to free those being kept as slaves, and repatriate them to their home countries, or resettle them in Europe if it would be dangerous for them to return. There are still a lot of unanswered questions about how this would work, but you can read more about it in this report from the EU observer.  

What’s happening in Libya is a crime against humanity.
— French President Emmanuel Macron

Seven arrests & women rescued in human trafficking raids

A raid on six addresses in the North West has resulted in seven people being arrested and a number of women, believed to have been trafficked from Romania, being taken to a safe place. There were further raids in the North East, where Durham Constabulary and the Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority arrested three men for modern slavery offences. They also worked with the Salvation Army and British Red Cross to safeguard an unknown number of victims. 

Modern slavery is a difficult crime to detect and we would urge the public to report any concerns within their communities. Acting on intelligence, we have today rescued several women from sexual exploitation and are working with them to secure a better future.
— Det. Sgt. Stu Peall, Lancashire Constabulary Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery team

UK aid to help over half a million people at risk of slavery

The Department for International Development (DFID) has given further details on what the money pledged by Theresa May at the recent UN General Assembly for modern slavery will be spent on. The £40 million will be split between a skills training programme in South Asia, a contribution to the the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery, which targets sectors with a high risk of slavery like fishing and construction, and ongoing work in Nigeria, one of the biggest source countries for trafficking victims in the UK and Europe. 

It is time to eradicate this shameful practice. Slavery, anywhere, must not be tolerated in the 21st century, and our work to stamp out this practice abroad will support our effort to end slavery in the UK. This is a long term challenge and others must follow our lead.
— International Development Secretary, Penny Mordaunt

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