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  1. ITV Report

Pledge to help end modern slavery in Wales

Welsh Assembly Member Joyce Watson and the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, are urging partners and political figures in Wales to take positive action and pledge their commitment to eradicating modern slavery and human trafficking.

The event, sponsored by Joyce Watson AM, at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay has been organised to look at how partners can work together to prevent these crimes happening in Wales and provide a platform for change.

AMs are encouraging people to highlight the issue of modern slavery and human trafficking. Credit: PA

People attending the event will be asked to sign a pledge highlighting their commitment to ending modern slavery and human trafficking and will discuss how they can use a collective approach to give support to victims.

I am honoured to be sponsoring this event. In 2010, I published a report on Human Trafficking in Wales, ‘Knowing No Boundaries’.

At that time, the extent of human trafficking and modern day slavery in Wales was largely unknown - it wasn’t on the radar.

Thankfully today it is. We are now aware that we may come in contact with people who are victims in our everyday activities which is why it is crucial that we continue to raise awareness

– Joyce Watson AM

Gwent PCC Jeff Cuthbert represents all four of the PCC’s in Wales on the Welsh Government Leadership Group that focusses on ways to tackle Modern Slavery.

Tackling modern slavery is an area that my office and Gwent Police are determined to drive forward with our partners locally and nationally.

Each and every one of us has a responsibility to ensure that people are not exploited and no single organisation can effectively tackle and eradicate this problem alone.

I hope this event will help raise awareness across our communities and will ensure that victims and survivors of these heinous crimes receive the appropriate support they so desperately need.

– Jeff Cuthbert, Gwent PCC

BAWSO is a Wales-wide organisation which provides a specialist services to people affected by domestic violence and abuse including forced marriage, honour based violence, Female Genital Mutilation and human trafficking.

The , Mutale Merrill OBE, said: “Many people have little or no knowledge of human trafficking, yet it is on the increase and an issue as a society we all need to be aware of. Human Trafficking destroys lives and damages individuals, communities, the economy and wider society. Alongside supporting people through a crisis situation, BAWSO works long term to provide emotional support through counselling, advocacy, health guidance and education.”

Many people have little or no knowledge of human trafficking, yet it is on the increase and an issue as a society we all need to be aware of.

Human Trafficking destroys lives and damages individuals, communities, the economy and wider society. Alongside supporting people through a crisis situation, BAWSO works long term to provide emotional support through counselling, advocacy, health guidance and education.

– Mutale Merrill OBE, Chief Executive of BAWSO

Delegates at the event will include Welsh Assembly Members, representatives from the Home Office, the National Crime Agency, safeguarding specialists and the Crown Prosecution Service.