The region’s police and crime commissioner is calling on Greater Manchester people to stand together to rid our communities of modern slavery.
Tony Lloyd was speaking out as the world marks the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, aimed at spuring governments across the world to eradicate modern slavery, including human trafficking, sexual exploitation and forced marriage.
It follows the news that there could be up to 13,000 people trapped in slavery in the UK, much more than initially thought. Many victims have been trafficked in from abroad. It’s thought the human trafficking trade is worth £130m to the UK’s black economy.
Tony said: “It’s horrifying that thousands of people are trapped in a life of slavery on our own doorsteps and we should all be shocked into action.
“Modern slavery is very much a hidden crime and we all have to stand together and shine a light on this appalling crime to protect victims and bring those who trade in human misery to justice.”
Legislation is currently going through parliament which will toughen up the law around modern slavery. The Modern Slavery Bill will make it easier to prosecute criminals and do more to protect victims.
Added Tony: “There is already some good work going on in Greater Manchester to target slave drivers. Police are working closely with councils, trading standards and the crown prosecution service and in October, the victim of Salford couple Ilyas and Tallat Ashar, was awarded £100,000 compensation in a landmark case thanks the work of GMP.
“The Modern Slavery Bill will strengthen the arsenal available to police and other agencies to tackle this blight on our society and save victims from a lifetime of suffering. It sends a message to the world that the UK is making a stand against modern slavery and to those who think it’s acceptable to trade in the lives of fellow human beings that they face a lifetime in jail.”