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Blogs and Opinion Will you stand against slavery in upcoming local elections?

Will you stand against slavery in upcoming local elections?

The upcoming local elections in the UK are a vital opportunity to advance efforts to rid communities of exploitation.

Modern slavery is happening on our doorsteps, in our towns and villages, and so it’s vital that our response to tackling it is not just national, but also local.

Hope for Justice has extensive experience of working with multi-agency partners to prevent exploitation, safeguard survivors and hold traffickers to account.

So, we want to equip candidates and voters ahead of the local elections on Thursday 2nd May to ensure that modern slavery is kept high on the agenda.

Voters will go to the polls on Thursday 2nd May. Stock image

Hope for Justice’s proven local methods of working

Hope for Justice’s ongoing work to tackle modern slavery has been enhanced through community engagement. By working in partnership with local stakeholders, the charity has improved prevention and identification of survivors.

We have prioritised proactive outreach, which has resulted in identifying survivors and protecting those who are most at risk of exploitation. Our teams also build effective relationships with key local partners which in turn creates pathways into support services for survivors. We are trusted to initiate and lead on strategic developments within the sector, such as modern slavery partnerships.

In addition to community engagement and proactive outreach, Hope for Justice employs Independent Modern Slavery Advocates (IMSAs) to work alongside survivors.

IMSAs are trained experts who consider a survivor’s social needs and legal rights together.

We work with survivors to help them navigate complex systems, services and legislation at a time when they are most isolated and vulnerable. We help them to overcome barriers and empower them to make informed decisions about their recovery.

Recommendations for candidates

Hope for Justice has drawn up a number of recommendations for candidates.

We recommend that candidates commit to address modern slavery as a priority for their region; ensure that tackling this issue is part of a strategic plan and that resources are allocated to implement it; and draw from guidance developed by the Local Government Association.

It’s also vital for candidates to advocate for improved resourcing for cross-sector working. This will help multi-agency partnerships between local authorities, health service, law enforcement, civil society and other stakeholders to be effective and sustainable.

Other recommendations include: placing safeguarding and independent advocacy at the heart of the response to modern slavery; and listening to the lived experience of survivors and communities who are at risk of exploitation, in order to develop an informed response.

Use your vote wisely

Councillors make important decisions for the local community, including how the council budget is spent and which services are given priority.

Once elected, councillors will remain in office for four years. They will represent your views for the area you live in.

So, before you go to the poll, be sure to read up on your local candidates and what they stand for. Watch their campaigns, talk to them, and ask them whether they will take a stand against modern slavery.

For more details about the recommendations for candidates or information about Hope for Justice’s work, please contact

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