A new strategy and free training sessions will raise awareness of modern slavery in Wirral and help to ensure minimum working standards.
Modern Slavery is a serious crime which encompasses slavery, servitude, forced or compulsory labour, and human trafficking. This urgent issue is hidden in plain sight across the world and in the UK. It also exists in Wirral.
By working with its staff, elected members and partners, Wirral Council is providing modern slavery training to over 150 people this year – including key frontline multi-agency staff and decision makers, as well as community and charity groups. Training was delivered to 50 staff in the Safer Wirral Hub in October; including Safeguarding, Education, Health, Police, Youth Offending Services, Probation, and the Fire Service.
Training for Wirral's councillors is delivered by City Hearts – a national modern slavery victim advocate charity - and includes an understanding of what modern slavery and human trafficking is, plus information about current legislation and how to respond to potential modern slavery cases.
Cllr Tom Usher, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said:
“Wirral will not tolerate modern slavery or human trafficking in any of its guises. It has a devastating impact on victims, their families, and our communities, and is a plague on our society.
“The new strategy and training sessions will raise awareness of the key signs of modern slavery, supporting people in Wirral to help spot – and stop – this awful crime. By taking action and ensuring everyone plays their part, we can help to stamp out modern slavery for good.”
A new Supplier Code of Conduct addresses the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and will ensure that Wirral Council’s own supply chains are setting ethical employment standards. Wirral is also signed up to the Cooperative Party Charter Against Modern Slavery.
Businesses identified as most likely to be involved with modern slavery include car washes, nail salons, massage parlours, and from a criminal perspective; brothels and cannabis cultivations. The Safe Car Wash app enables hand car wash users to report concerns over workers, a lack of protective clothing, or suspected workers who are living on-site.
More Wirral councillors will receive modern slavery training on 11 December, 2019.