Over the weekend of 21 to 23 April 2017, almost 60 representatives from police, non-governmental, academic, private sector and government backgrounds gathered for our 36th annual police conference, on ‘Eliminating Slavery: Enhancing the Police Response’.
The conference addressed the pressing issue of modern slavery, its implications for policing, and priorities for the police response.Participants analysed the unique challenges that modern slavery presents for policing and highlighted the amount of progress that has been made in this regard over the last 10 years.
Changes in the political landscape have brought modern slavery to the forefront of legislation, policy-making and policing. Whilst modern slavery used to be viewed chiefly in terms of sexual exploitation, it is now recognised to cover a range of exploitative offences, such as labour exploitation and forced marriage.
And although progress has been made in strengthening legislation, and in improving awareness of modern slavery amongst front-line service providers, the war against it has yet to be won.
Whilst there is ‘buy-in’ at the top level, front-line staff also need to be empowered to make strategic decisions in modern slavery cases. This will involve increasing the breadth and availability of training, and building a body of evidence-based research for them to draw upon.
This Executive Summary outlines key recommendations for law enforcers, policy makers, private sector organisations, partnership working, and increasing public awareness of modern slavery.
The full conference report can be downloaded in pdf format from our Read, Watch, Listen webpages.