“Slavery is closer than you think” is the slogan of a new campaign in the United Kingdom to raise awareness of slavery happening in the country. The Home Office has launched a two-month campaign that aims to encourage those experiencing modern-day slavery to come forward and seek help from the government, as well as to urge the public to report anyone suspected of enslaving others.
Modern slavery is a major problem in the U.K. The Human Trafficking Foundation estimates that around 20,000 people are living in slavery throughout the country. The three most common types of slavery are agricultural labor, sexual exploitation in a brothel and domestic servitude in another’s home.
Many cases of slavery have been reported lately. In November, three women were discovered in a house in south London after being held there for 30 years of domestic servitude. In another case, James and Josie Connors were convicted of manipulating and exploiting destitute men for their own financial gain in Bedfordshire.
The slogan encompasses the campaign’s main idea, which is that these examples of modern slavery are going on everywhere, like in average households and families.
A new national helpline, supported by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), has also been created to offer information for victims of slavery on how to get help, and to educate the general public on how to accurately report persecutors.
The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness for these previously unknown situations. Through various forms of advertising, the U.K. government hopes to see more victims seeking help and more people reporting the crimes.
Home Secretary Theresa May said, “The first step to stamping out modern slavery is acknowledging and confronting its existence. This campaign aims to bring this hidden crime out into the open and challenges us all to report it wherever we suspect it.”
– Hannah Cleveland