Council pledges to fight Modern Slavery

PR2302/MC/MF - 19/10/2020

Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC) has adopted a County wide Modern Slavery Pledge for this year’s Anti-Slavery Day on 18 October 2020.

The Council is part of the Sussex Anti-Slavery Network, which works to eradicate slavery and exploitation, with the aim of becoming a Slavery Free Community by 2030.

Together, the Anti-Slavery Network works to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and eliminate the worst forms of child labour.

By signing the pledge, Mid Sussex District Council has reinforced its commitment to:

• demonstrating strong leadership for anti-slavery initiatives;
• raising awareness amongst staff, associates and the people of Sussex;
• training staff to recognise and respond appropriately to potential signs of slavery;
• sharing intelligence and information to help detect slavery and ensure it cannot take root;
• supporting victims and survivors in the community;
• removing slave-based labour from all supply chains;
• contributing to building a prosperous and slavery-free economy.

Councillor Norman Webster, Mid Sussex Cabinet Member for Community said:

“Anti-Slavery Day raises awareness of human trafficking and modern slavery so 18 October is the perfect day to reinforce our commitment to eradicating this vile practice.

“Mid Sussex is a wonderful place to live for most of us, but there could be people right under our noses who are suffering because of forced labour and modern slavery.

“Make no mistake, there are despicable people in Mid Sussex who are prepared to exploit others for their own personal gain. MSDC has been part of the Sussex Anti-Slavery Network since its inception and our officers have helped to release people who have been forced to work in many different roles, including local car washes, nail bars and fast food outlets.

“We will continue to work with National Government, local Councils, law enforcement agencies, local businesses, the voluntary sector and our local communities to support anti-slavery initiatives. It’s vital that we all work together, look for the warning signs and share intelligence so that we can detect modern slavery and ensure it does not take root in Mid Sussex.”

If you suspect someone may be a victim of modern slavery, you can contact the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700. This is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

You can also report it to Sussex Police on 101 and if you wish to remain anonymous you can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.