January is Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Awareness month. To raise awareness on this topic, the Justice and Care charity have provided an insightful article featuring a true story on a person who experienced this horrific exploitation. Together, we can all contribute to finally put an end to modern day slavery.
There are at least 50 million people enslaved today – more than at any other time in history. It happens in almost every country on earth and one in four victims are children. Modern slavery is the fastest growing crime worldwide, estimated to be worth $150 billion a year to the criminal networks involved. Justice and Care is a multi-award winning anti-slavery charity working across Bangladesh, Romania and the UK. In the UK, staff work alongside police to help victims walk free, rebuild their lives and secure justice. We pioneer new ideas that have never been used before to bring about systemic change.
Justice and Care joins forces to end slavery, working together with more than 100 partners around the world – police, governments, NGO’s and stakeholders. Since the charity’s inception in 2009, the frontline team has rescued over 5,250 victims, helped more than 4,600 survivors to rebuild their lives through their aftercare programmes, supported close to 1,700 prosecutions and trained over 59,000 frontline professionals in victim identification and care.
The award-winning, government-endorsed, Victim Navigator Programme sees specialist workers deployed in the heart of police forces in the UK to fight slavery. Having a Navigator be the bridge between police and victim has led to estimates that 44% of survivors without a Victim Navigator engage with the criminal justice process compared to 92% survivors with a Victim Navigator.
Ileana’s* story is one example which shows how crucial Justice and Care
Navigators are in fighting this vile crime. Ileana arrived in the UK from Romania on her 19th birthday with three other victims on a ferry at Dover. Border Force police were suspicious and, although Ileana
insisted everything was fine, a Navigator was called upon to help, using new protocols drawn up with Justice and Care. Feeling like she could open up to the Navigator, the vulnerable teenager burst into tears and revealed she had been trafficked into sexual exploitation both in Romania and in the UK. Her account led to two suspected traffickers being arrested and charged – and another victim being released. With the support of her Navigator, Ileana gave key intelligence that led to the identification of other traffickers within the same criminal network. Justice and Care helped Ileana return to Romania, where they are now supporting her to rebuild her life. We are also working with the Home Office to develop a new model of safe repatriation for victims from Romania. *Name changed to protect identity
“Justice and Care’s Victim Navigator Programme is helping to shape the national police response to modern slavery. It is a unique attempt to create partnership between senior police investigators and a specialist NGO, joining forces to fight against this appalling crime.” – Jenny Bristow, Detective Chief Inspector – Modern Slavery Police Transformation Unit.
Justice and Care is seeking individuals and businesses who share their commitment to end modern slavery to consider funding their work -ensuring more victims are rescued and cared for, and justice is served.