Stevenage Borough Council signs up to the Modern Slavery Charter

19 Sep 2018

Stevenage Borough Council is proud to announce an extension of its already successful Stevenage Against Domestic Abuse (SADA) initiative by committing to and signing the Modern Slavery Charter. Councils across England collectively spend £40bn per year procuring goods and services on behalf of their constituents, and the new Modern Slavery Charter will ensure that exploitation has no place within council supply chains. It has been calculated that there are up to 13,000 victims of 'Modern Slavery' currently within the UK. This exploitation includes:

  • Sexual exploitation
  • Domestic servitude
  • Forced labour
  • Criminal exploitation
  • Other exploitations include organ removal, forced begging, forced benefit fraud, forced marriage and illegal adoption.

SADA’s Modern Slavery initiative combined with the new Modern Slavery Charter will overcome the gaps that currently exist within Modern Slavery provisions, providing support and aftercare to those fleeing to safety. Support and aftercare will include but not be limited to 1-to-1 support for possible cases, support for family members experiencing or witnessing Modern Slavery and training for frontline staff and external partners in recognising the signs of this exploitation.

Providing support and a safe place to come to is one of the Modern Slavery initiative’s highest priorities, but looking to the root of the cause is equally as important - this is where the Modern Slavery Charter comes in. Each council involved has committed to train their corporate procurement teams, challenge any abnormally low cost tenders and report any contractors they feel are a concern regarding modern slavery. Stevenage Borough Council has also committed to report publicly on this policy annually.

Cllr Sharon Taylor, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council added, “Modern Slavery is one of the great evils of our time and needs to be eradicated. It is only through the combined efforts of council led programmes like SADA Modern Slavery Initiative and the Modern Slavery Charter that we can start to implement changes at a community level to tackle such a horrific problem.”

If you have any general enquiries regarding the Modern Slavery Charter or SADA Modern Slavery Initiative please contact the Community Safety Team on 01438 242666 or email Modern.SlaveryGCSX@Stevenage.gcsx.gov.uk