Event to stamp out modern slavery

Published Friday, 26th July 2019

Southend against Modern Slavery Logo

Southend’s town centre will host an event to highlight the issues surrounding modern slavery, and to help the public spot potential victims of this crime.

Modern slavery victims may work in the sex industry, in domestic servitude, or may be victims of labour exploitation.

Event organisers, the SAMS partnership (Southend Against Modern Slavery), will be providing stalls and will be there to speak to any member of the public who would like to find out about how they can help eradicate this in Southend. There will be videos playing at TwentyOne on the seafront and on The Big Screen Southend by the Forum. In conjunction with its partners, the Council will be supporting the event with community support officers ready to answer questions from members of the public.

Ian Gilbert, leader of the council and cabinet member for housing and communities said: “We have a zero tolerance approach to modern slavery and human trafficking in all its forms and are committed to safeguarding against this highly complex and hidden crime. We work closely with the Southend Against Modern Slavery partnership, the police and other agencies and firmly support the work they all do.

“Victims may pass us by without us realising the terrible situation they are in. We would like everyone to understand the signs of modern slavery in all its forms, so they can help by reporting this issue if they spot it.

“Southend is no more affected than anywhere else in the country, however we are committed to halting this entirely in our borough. I would encourage the public to drop by the stalls, and watch the videos to improve their understanding of the complex issues it encompasses, and to be able to spot the signs that someone could be a victim of this controlling crime.”

The event is being held on Tuesday 30 July, with stalls and films being held by The Forum from 9.00-13.30 and 16.00-21.00. Project 49 will also be painting a mural to highlight the issue, under the railway bridge throughout the day.