Calderdale Council is looking at the devastating impacts of modern slavery and how it can prevent the crime as well as protecting victims and their families.
Modern slavery is a complex crime and recent figures from the Home Office show it’s a growing problem within the UK.
Although reported incidences are low in Calderdale, the Council recognises that it could still be a problem in the borough, but that crimes are not being reported.
Partners including the Police, NHS and voluntary sector organisations meet with the Council on a regular basis to identify any potential modern slavery issues. The Community Safety Partnership has also identified modern day slavery and human trafficking as key priorities.
In order to ensure that risks of modern slavery are understood and steps are in place to guarantee the Council’s supply chains are free from the crime, the Council has developed a draft Modern Slavery Transparency Statement.
The statement sets out the Council’s actions in tackling the issue and how it can build on practices already in place. It will now be considered by Calderdale Council’s Cabinet, before being recommended to Full Council.
Cabinet will also consider signing the Co-operative Party Charter, joining over 30 other councils across the UK. The Charter goes further than existing laws and guidance and commits councils to proactively ensuring no instances of modern slavery are taking place within supply chains.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhood Services, Cllr Susan Press, said:
“Modern slavery is an atrocious crime which causes significant emotional and physical harm to victims, who are often exploited over months and sometimes years.
“It’s so important that we do all we can to prevent modern slavery in Calderdale, as well as having steps in place to support victims if any instances are identified.
“This draft statement would build on existing activities and ensure the Council has a robust approach in place.”
The item will be discussed at the meeting of Calderdale Council’s Cabinet on Monday 5 November from 6pm, at Halifax Town Hall.