At Justice and Care people often ask us what they can practically do, as individuals, to fight slavery. It is a brilliant question, particularly because ‘getting involved’ is not always straightforward. Unlike a local food bank, soup kitchen or mentoring scheme, volunteering opportunities are much more limited.
Victims of human trafficking are usually broken, traumatised and cared for in safe houses, so we tend to need specialists. Trafficking networks are dangerous criminal enterprises, so the police lead on that. The abuse is often hidden, so finding it is tough. Yet there is plenty people can do. In fact, we know that the fight will only be won if ordinary people decide to take an extraordinary interest.
For instance, police teams rely heavily on members of the public reporting behaviour or conditions that concern them, as they try to find and smash modern slavery. So in more normal times by being ‘eyes and ears’ in your neighbourhood, staying alert as you commute to work or go shopping, you can help. Learn how to spot the signs of slavery.
We also need you to let our politicians and policy-makers know that you care about this. That you want them to act. Being hidden and complex, slavery is a subject that is far too easy for them to ignore. It doesn’t tend to win elections or make the headlines, even though it should. We’ll be organising campaigns and launching reports that you can get behind later this year. Together, our voices can touch hearts and shape Governments.
And in that regard, you can even make a difference today, in lockdown. Our new campaign – #UnlockTheDoors – is designed to fight for the tens of thousands of victims of slavery in our country who will remain trapped behind closed doors long after we get free. We need your help to bring it to life. All you have to do is share a photo outside your front door, holding the #unlockthedoors hashtag, and tag @justiceandcare. There is a brilliant short film you can send too. We plan to collate your photos and send a message to the British Government that these victims matter; that fighting slavery has to remain a top priority.
Most of us use social media and it only takes a minute to take a stand. So if you are someone who wonders what you can practically do in this fight, if you have asked the question before, this is your chance.
Be part of the change we need. Will you join us today?
Christian Guy, CEO of Justice and Care