Friday links: Is the Modern Slavery Act a failure and do we need a change in culture?

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

'Damning': Theresa May under fire as anti-slavery scheme branded a failure

The National Audit Office have released a critical report into the Home Office response to modern slavery. Covering the National Referral Mechanism, the Modern Slavery Strategy, the support for potential victims, and the performance of police and the Crown Prosecution Service, the report concludes that the government does not have effective oversight of the system, and as a result, has no way of knowing if its efforts have been successful. You can find the full report on the website of the National Audit Office. 

The Home Office has an incomplete picture of the crime, the victims and the perpetrators. Accountability within the modern slavery strategy is unclear, oversight of victim support is inadequate and few cases have led to prosecution.

Britain needs 'change in culture' to stamp out modern slavery

The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner Kevin Hyland has said in an interview this week that Britain needs a 'change in culture' to end modern slavery in the UK. He said police officers were getting to grips with the changes in law brought in by the Modern Slavery Act but it wouldn't be enough without a serious change in mindset from the British public, like that seen with drunk driving.  

We need modern slavery to become socially unacceptable, like we saw with drink driving and domestic violence. There isn’t an overnight fix. When every part of the UK thinks that this cannot be tolerated any longer, then we will see a change in culture.
— Kevin Hyland, IASC

Man arrested in Nottingham on alleged human trafficking offence

In an encouraging use of partnership working, a man has been arrested in Nottingham for a human trafficking offence after an inspection by the council's Safer Housing Team. Nottingham has a licensing scheme for houses of multiple occupancy, which are often used to house exploited workers. In partnership with the GLAA, the housing team conducted inspections on unlicensed properties which were known to be housing lots of people. In one case they found that a house had been divided into two, with each housing multiple workers. 

This is great work by both agencies and shows good results coming from collaborative working. This is all part of the Safer Housing Teams day-to-day work to investigate unlicensed rental properties. By working closely with partners, like the GLAA the service protects victims from rogue landlords in unlicensed properties.
— Cllr Toby Neal, Portfolio Holder for Community and Customer Services at Nottingham City Council

Do you listen to the Rights Track? A human rights podcast hosted by Professor Todd Landman, this series focuses on different aspects of modern slavery. In episode one they interviewed Professor Zoe Trodd, the head of the University of Nottingham's Rights Lab, and in the second they speak to Dr Alison Gardner about slavery-free cities, and the role of the community in ending slavery. You can listen to that episode here

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