An App to Help in the Fight Against Modern Day Slavery

Author: Elizabeth Baker
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“If there is one abuse that offends our conscience in every way it is the enslavement of a human being. No child should be born without hope; no person should live without freedom.” Desmond Tutu

Many Scottish people would not believe that modern day slavery is an issue in their area, yet it is widespread throughout Scotland, including remote areas such as Fort William, Livingston and the Orkney islands where victims of the crime have been identified over the past number of years, along with in the larger cities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee. It can be found in nail bars, factories, car washes and the cleaning industry.

The term modern slavery under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 encompasses the following definitions:

  • Slavery is where ownership is exercised over a person
  • Servitude involves the obligation to provide services imposed by coercion
  • Forced or compulsory labour involves work or service extracted from any person under the menace of a penalty and for which the person has not offered himself voluntarily
  • Human trafficking concerns arranging or facilitating the travel of another with a view to exploiting them.

The problem is such that a leading anti- slavery charity has launched an app to involve the public in the fight against these crimes. The app which was developed in partnership with BT will help users identify signs of forced labour and then use the app to report a confidential concern to the Modern Slavery Helpline where the data will be anonymised and shared with the National Crime Agency and the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority.

Eric Anderson who heads the modern slavery programme at BT commented “We know increased awareness and action from the public is critical to turning the tide on modern slavery.”

The Modern Slavery Helpline was launched in 2016.The charity noted that more than 2,700 calls and online reports were made in the first half of 2018, an 80% jump from the same time period in 2017 but prosecutions are low.

The app has been welcomed by various agencies across the UK

Elizabeth Baker

About Elizabeth Baker

Elizabeth is our Business Development Manager. She has a degree in both English Literature and Law from Glasgow University. After graduating in 1983 she served her traineeship as a solicitor in Oban. When she was admitted as a solicitor her first job was at Mitchells Roberton in 1985 so she is a well known face. She spread her wings and joined other firms along the way and had a successful law practice under her own name for some years. She returned to Mitchells Roberton in 2011 and works primarily to enhance the marketing of our firm. With her excellent links with small business and the media in the greater Glasgow area, she is well placed in the role and generates a good deal of referrals and new business. Elizabeth is a people person and naturally connects with both staff and clients. Elizabeth has two grown up children and loves walking her dog, travelling and reading literature. Email: eb@mitchells-roberton.co.uk

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