Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s cabinet members have made a pledge to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking.
In a report recently published, the council stated that there are approximately 10,000-13,000 victims of modern slavery within the UK, and approximately 43 million victims worldwide.
Victims of modern day slavery have been identified across all local authority areas in Staffordshire in the last 12 months, with 37 victims having been identified within Stoke-on-Trent.
56% of victims in Staffordshire are said to be male and 44% female.
37% of victims were identified to be aged 17 and under.
Deputy council leader Abi Brown said: “Modern day slavery and human trafficking can have no place in our communities. Just one case is one too many.
“We known that there is work to be one to eradicate these horrible crimes.
“We are committing to doing all we can to prevent these crimes and give the right support to victims of it.
“We will work with partners across the city to safeguard our residents.”
The council hopes to reduce victims of the crime by ensuring that modern day slavery is part of the council’s organisational structure and decision making processes that will be renewed annually.
In a statement, the council also hope to ensure that safeguarding, recruitment and whistleblowing policies are fully complaint with the Slavery Act 2015.
They also aim to ensure that due diligence is followed in eradicating the crime from supply chains and that it is not part of the council’s workforce.
Ann Grainger, co-ordinator of Voice of Hope, a Stoke-on-Trent charity which raises awareness of modern day slavery and human trafficking, said:
She said: “It is an appalling fact that while most people consider the slave trade to have ended when slavery was abolished in 1807, there are more slaves in our world today than ever before in human history.
“Thousands of people here in the UK including people in Stoke-on-Trent are being deceived, unknowingly walking through the ‘door of no return’ into unimaginable abuse. Hidden in plain sight.
“We are greatly encouraged to hear the news the council has committed to working towards the eradication of modern slavery here in our city.”