1. ITV Report

Reports of modern slavery increase by 30 per cent in Wales

Credit: PA Images

New data from the National Crime Agency shows a 30 per cent increase in reports of modern slavery cases across Wales in 2018.

The statistics show there were 251 referrals of potential cases of modern slavery last year compared to 193 in 2017. Of the 251, 125 were children and 126 adults.

Many victims of modern slavery come to the UK to try and escape abuse but then become vulnerable to exploitation.

60 per cent of the reported cases were for labour exploitation.

Most of the 251 cases involved victims whose country of origin is the UK but victims originally from Vietnam, Sudan and Albania were also reported.

The 30 per cent increase in 2018 follows a 56 per cent increase the year before that.

There are more people in slavery today across the world, than in the entire 350 year history of the transatlantic slave trade and slavery in Wales is on the rise. 60 per cent of the referrals in Wales in the last year were for exploitation at work. That’s why trade unions like UNISON have a major role in the fight against modern slavery. We have been lobbying employers to sign up to the Welsh Government’s Code of Practice for Ethical Employment in Supply Chains which should ensure workers are treated fairly and no-one is exploited.

– Kebba Manneh, Chair of UNISON Black Members Group

First Minister, Mark Drakeford and Stephen Chapman, the Welsh Government’s Anti-Human Trafficking Co-ordinator, will be speaking about the statistics at a slave trade remembrance event in Butetown on Friday 23.

The event is organised by UNISON Cymru Wales.

Slavery is a crime against humanity and we will use all the tools we have at our disposal to fight it. Wales took a lead in the UK, creating the role of an Anti-Slavery Co-ordinator, and Wales introduced the Code of Practice on ethical employment in supply chains. We must do more to combat modern slavery and I intend to strengthen legal protections in the forthcoming Social Partnership Act.

– Mark Drakeford, First Minister

To report slavery you can call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 012 1700.

If you are a victim of modern slavery you can call 0800 731 8147 for help.