Today marks World Anti-Slavery Day, which is aimed at raising awareness of the issues and problems surrounding modern slavery. To mark the day, the Wilberforce Institute of Slavery and Emancipation (WISE) at the University of Hull have carried out a public awareness campaign to show how modern slavery is hidden in plain sight.
‘Human packaging’ is being left at high-footfall locations in Hull city centre on Tuesday October 18, Anti-Slavery Day, to underline the fact that modern day slavery is hiding in plain sight. A new study by YouGov and the University of Hull’s Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation (WISE) found that less than one in ten people (8%) know the true scale of slavery in the UK which is affecting up to 13,000 people according to Home Office estimates.
John Oldfield, Director of WISE said: “Tackling slavery remains unfinished business, here in the UK and across the world. Modern day slavery often plays out in plain sight and can be difficult to detect, especially if people don’t know what signs to look for, which our research has highlighted is the case. What’s clear is that there is still a critical amount of work still to be done to increase widespread public awareness.
“The Modern Slavery Act was just the start. Along with the ongoing support from the Prime Minister, it is a good step in the right direction, not least because it means that big businesses must now look at modern slavery within their own operations and within their supply chains, But, the government must continue to drive forward the fight against slavery across all businesses and industries, regardless of turnover.
“Hull is proud to have been central to an abolition movement once before, which is why we are marking Anti-Slavery Day with our #HiddenInPlainSight campaign, taking place across the city today, which aims to highlight the plight of modern day slavery and encourage people to look twice at what is happening all around them. Modern Slavery is an issue that won’t be solved until everyone opens their eyes and commits to tough action.”
Karl Turner, Labour MP for East Hull said, “this is a great piece of work from the University of Hull highlighting the problems surrounding modern day slavery and how it is hidden in plain sight.
“Modern day slavery is a massive issue in the UK and it is important that we continue to show people that there is more work to be done. The study that has been carried out by the Wilberforce Institute of Slavery and Emancipation (WISE) is world leading and I am committed to supporting this campaign and its objectives”