To many, slavery is an inhumane act that remains in the past, something that was abolished and stamped out forever. But, that isn’t true.
Sadly, there are more slaves today in 2019 than there have been at any other time in history. And though we may like to believe it’s happening elsewhere, far from the reaches of our society, the reality is that it’s happening here in the UK too.
With over 5,000 potential victims of modern slavery reported in 2017, the UK saw an increase of 35% reports from 2016. But where is this happening? How are people getting away with it nowadays?
A construction worker is recruited abroad and travels to South East England after being offered a contract on a building site. He’s heavily in debt and the salary he’s been promised will help him and his family. When he arrives in the UK his employers take away his passport and force him to sign a contract. He is also forced into working unreasonable hours for minimal pay and the accommodation he’s given is cramped and crowded. His employers threaten to harm his family so he stays silent and continues to work.
Sadly, the construction industry is accountable for a substantial portion of these victims. And the majority of the victims in the construction sector are in this position due to recruitment practices.
Common types of abuse suffered by construction workers
Victims of modern slavery in the construction sector are commonly subjected to:
- Long working hours
- Threats of violence
- Unfair contracts
- Having their passports confiscated, preventing them from leaving
- Unfair payment practices i.e. late payment of wages or wage reductions
- Unfit, or unhygienic accommodation.
What can be done to help?
Take the time to educate both yourself and your staff about modern slavery. This can be done by implementing training and support for each level of the business, this helps raise awareness of how slavery happens and the best ways to prevent and report it.
You should also ensure that your workplace and supply chain is transparent about its recruitment processes, working practices, and the companies that you and others work with.
Online Modern Slavery Training
Here at iHASCO, we offer a CPD Accredited Online Modern Slavery Training course that covers what you and your organisation can do to help eradicate modern slavery by:
- Giving examples of the different types of modern slavery through case studies
- Providing infomation on the Modern Slavery Act
- Explaining best practice and how to implement it
You’ll also learn how to:
- Report suspicions
- Create and display a Modern Slavery Statement
- Conduct checks within your supply chain
Claim your free no-obligation trial to the course today!