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Anti-slavery action to be taken locally

Created on 14/08/2018 @ 16:03
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By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

Powys County Council has joined the fight to eradicate modern slavery and will choose an Anti-Slavery and Ethical Employment Champion soon.

At the last cabinet meeting, members considered a policy document that aimed to ensure that modern slavery or human trafficking does not take place within the authority’s business or supply chain.

Support for victims will now be part of the authority’s safeguarding systems and processes and will apply to everyone working for the council or on its behalf including contractors.

Council officer Vince Hanley said that the council’s role is to “identify and refer” victims and ensure that the procurement process is free from modern slavery.

Adult Services cabinet member, Cllr Stephen Hayes, said: “This is something that’s just coming on the horizon of elected members and it’s undoubtedly a fact that this is being practiced in Wales and in Powys.

“It’s something that is outside our experience and we need to become more acute at recognising that it’s taking place and work out what the council’s response should be in providing safeguarding and adequate support.

“We have a lot of work to do on the subject.”

The council aims to produce an annual statement outlining the approach taken to make sure that modern slavery or human trafficking is not taking place within its business or supply chain.

“The annual statement would be the responsibility of the Anti- Slavery and Ethical Employment Champion and published on the county council’s website.

It is estimated that more than 40million people worldwide are the victims of modern slavery.

Today, slavery is less about people literally owning other people but more about being exploited and completely controlled by someone else, without being able to leave.

Examples of this include, forced labour, debt bondage, forced marriages and human trafficking.

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