We need to stand together to end the scourge of modern slavery, says the region’s Police and Crime Commissioner.
The world will come together on Monday 2 December to mark the Day for the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery and Tony Lloyd is calling on communities in Greater Manchester to play their part.
Across the world it’s thought 21 million people, including children, are trapped in slavery and up to 4,000 of those could be here in the UK. The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery is intended to spur governments across the world to eradicate modern slavery, including human trafficking, sexual exploitation and forced marriage.
“Recent cases, including the conviction of Ilyas Ashar* in Salford and the case of three women allegedly held as slaves in London, highlight the stark reality that there are thousands of people in this country trapped in slavery. This should shock all right-minded people and is why I’m calling on communities to stand together with me against this appalling crime.”
Tony is giving evidence to an influential committee of MPs this week to shape how the UK will work to end modern slavery. The Home Secretary announced in October plans to introduce a Modern Slavery Bill which will make is easier to prosecute slave drivers and do more to protect victims.
“Action needs to be taken sooner rather than later and I welcome the opportunity to help shape this legislation.
“In Greater Manchester, it was only through the efforts of the police working with the local council, trading standards and the crown prosecution service that Ashar was brought to justice. All agencies and communities have a responsibility to work together and this legislation will help in the fight to end this blight on our society.”
*In October 2013, Ashar, 84, from Eccles in Salford, was jailed for 13 years for rape, trafficking and social security offences, after a 10-year-old girl was trafficked into the UK. His wife, Tallat Ashar, 68, also of Cromwell Road, Eccles, was jailed for five years for trafficking offences and social security offences.