Patrick Proctor, Head of Programme Operations at anti-slavery charity Hope for Justice, said: “In 2020, the COVID pandemic made huge numbers of people even more vulnerable to human trafficking, and we will certainly be dealing with the consequences of that in 2021. Hope for Justice is launching a new strategy in the new year that will address how we are facing up to the increased challenges created by the virus. We are actively seeking to increase our footprint and start operations in new countries.
“Our aim is also to encourage more governments to take seriously the needs of survivors of trafficking, and to reflect this in policy and legislation. Our own experts will continue engaging directly with victims through community outreach and a variety of other channels, helping get them to safety and appropriate support.
“In 2021, we will encourage businesses to take action and acknowledge that global supply chains across many sectors are tainted by modern slavery. There are steps businesses should be taking to protect themselves and to ensure they are not unwittingly contributing to exploitation. Hope for Justice’s business-focused social enterprise, Slave-Free Alliance, is already helping more than 75 businesses do this, including eight listed on the FTSE 100 index. In 2021, we will accelerate this globally, working with businesses in Australia and the USA among other countries.”