Modern slavery is, alarmingly, alive and well and living in Croydon, and it is this worrying fact that will be examined in a town-centre conference.
Aimed at individuals and groups who have direct contact both with the victims, and the criminals who benefit from the human misery they promote, the conference – tagged #Modern slavery is closer than you think – will address the key issues of the matter.
Council staff, police, teachers, doctors, church groups, community organisations and NHS staff will be among those in attendance, looking at and discussing:
• the Modern Slavery Act 2015;
• developing an understanding of the scale and depth of modern slavery and its impact on the victim;
• sharing experiences and considering their own role in identifying and assisting victims; and
• learning how to recognise the signs.
The conference will run between 9am and 2pm on Wednesday 18 October at the Croydon Conference Centre, Surrey Street, CR0 1RG.
Speakers will include, among others, keynote speaker Barthi Patel, of children’s rights organisation Ecpat UK; Tamara Barnett, project leader for the Human Trafficking Foundation; Rebecca Baumgartner, of the Home Office’s modern slavery unit; and Tony Byrne, representing the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority.
Delegates will get the chance to share experiences, consider their own role in identifying and assisting victims, and how they might be able to contribute to Croydon’s action plan.
Councillor Toni Letts, Mayor of Croydon – opening conference
“It’s shocking to think that the scourge of slavery remains a problem in modern Britain, yet there is strong evidence that men and women of all backgrounds and ages are suffering what is often inhuman treatment on a daily basis.
“It’s important that conferences like this don’t shy away from the important issues, and that those who attend feel, as they leave, that they’re armed with the necessary information and contacts to help fight this blight on humanity, and to bring it to a complete end.”
Members of the press who would like to attend this event should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8726 6000 extn 63774.