Modern Day Slavery in the UK is prevalent with the Government estimating that tens of thousands of people are in modern slavery in the UK today.
Amyas Morse, Head of the National Audit Office said this month “To combat modern slavery successfully, government will need to build much stronger information and understanding of perpetrators and victims than it has now.”
According to the NAO, accountability within the modern slavery strategy is unclear, oversight of victim support is inadequate and few cases have led to prosecution. There remains much more to do to ensure victims of modern day slavery (MDS) are identified, protected and supported effectively.
MDS is a worldwide issue which transcends age, gender and ethnicities. It can include victims that have been brought from overseas and vulnerable people in the UK being forced to illegally work against their will for little or no pay with restricted freedom of movement and substandard working or living conditions. Children are often deliberately targeted for their vulnerability and one in four victims of slavery in the UK is a child.
Empowering-Communities are calling on schemes and practitioners to get involved in tackling this issue and are setting up a National Working Group to look at ways digital and information technology can help.
Empowering-Communities CEO Gary Pettengell said ‘For E-CINS schemes, the principles you are already employing around the management of vulnerable people, victims, those with complex needs, premises and places can all be applied to MDS.
Some time ago we held multi-agency focus groups to identify requirements around providing a solution to tackle the issues around MDS in the UK.
End-to end process for tackling Modern Day Slavery
As a complete multi-agency system, E-CINS provides an end to end process for tracking the Slaved/Trafficked person’s journey, not just out of the vulnerable position they are in, but moving forward in relation to housing, education, training and employment.
As a result of the focus groups we developed bespoke functionality in E-CINS, including the creation of an electronic version of the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) form which is completed in order to notify the UKHTA/NCA that a person has been subjected to trafficking/slavery.
National Referral Mechanism (NRM)
The completion of this form starts off the prescribed/timebound process of safeguarding an individual and our online, easy-to-complete version allows for faster input and extended questions that provide more robust data than the paper version.
Part of the focus group work also resulted in these Modern Slavery Case types being added to the system:
Information / Intelligence
And these Modern Slavery Information Reports types being added to the system:
All of the Modern Day Slavery functionality can be viewed on the E-CINS demo system.
There is clearly a cross border element to Modern Day Slavery and, due to our geographical spread of practitioners across the UK we are in an ideal position to work together with interested parties to tackle this problem in a co-ordinated way. As such we will be holding a National Working Group Meeting around this subject early next year and would like you to get involved.
As part of our commitment to help combat and eradicate Modern Day Slavery in the UK we have further developed our solution and are actively seeking partners who are interested in piloting a Modern Day Slavery Referral Desk, part-funded by Empowering-Communities, which will enable referrals via a customisable online public and practitioner-facing encrypted referral form which auto-populates referral data into a secure management desk.
If you would like to take part in the National Working Group or are interested in piloting the MDS Referral Desk please get in touch with Gary Pettengell at firstname.lastname@example.org