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.
An investigation by ITV into the phenomenon of county lines, that is young people from large cities being groomed and forced to carry and sell drugs in smaller, more rural towns. They speak to a former 'drug mule' who was threatened and forced to sell drugs, a mother who fears she has lost her child to this world, and a gang leader who himself groomed young people. They also speak about how police are using the Modern Slavery Act 2015 to impose harsher penalties on those perpetrating this abuse.
We missed this one last week but thought it important enough to include here, albeit a bit late. The article quotes Kate Roberts from the Human Trafficking Foundation who says that the support provided to survivors is not enough, even for those who have provided evidence to prosecute the perpetrators. As with most areas of modern slavery investigation and support, a lack of data was also raised as an issue, as no one knows what happens to survivors after they have left government support.
Last week we linked you to Theresa May's speech urging tech companies to take responsibility for how modern slavery perpetrators use their services to commit crime. This week we learn that the Department for International Development (DfID) has contributed to a new fund specifically for investing in 'innovations to ensure that companies’ supply chains are free of modern slavery.' DfID has given £2.5 million to the fund.
Two big cases this week, at opposite ends of the country. In Cornwall the GLAA has revoked the license of a gangmaster who had been forcing her workers to put in incredibly long hours and housing them in run down, overcrowded caravans with mould on the walls and leaking waste pipes. Meanwhile in Newcastle, the police have arrested seven people and taken 11 potential victims to a safe place after raids on properties in the West End of the city. It is believed that the victims were being exploited in the sex trade.
And finally, why not join us on our Lent challenge as we #giveupslavery this Lent. Each week you will learn about a different aspect of modern slavery and be given an action to take against it.