Chair of UNISON Cymru Wales Black Members Group, Kebba Manneh. Photo credit: Natasha Hirst
Welsh government minister for Social Justice, Jane Hutt and UK Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, Nick Thomas-Symonds MP, joined public service workers this week to commemorate the victims of the slave trade.
Jane Hutt was keynote speaker at a UNISON event on Monday (23 August) and she reiterated Welsh government’s commitment to tackle modern slavery.
UNISON Cymru Wales Black Members Group holds an annual event on 23 August to mark International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition. Due to the Covid pandemic, this year’s event was held online.
UNISON warns there are more people in slavery today across the world, than in the entire 350-year history of the transatlantic slave trade. The union has sponsored training to help public service workers report instances of people in forced labour to the authorities and better help affected individuals.
Jasmin Ahmed from Black Association Women Step Out, who led the development of the online modern slavery awareness training, also addressed the meeting. Gwent Police chief constable, Pam Kelly, spoke about police prosecutions and convictions for modern day slavery. They were joined by social and cultural academic, Abu-Bakr Madden Al Shabazz and poet laureate & Memorhyme co-founder, Kurly McGeachie, who presented Modern Day Slavery in a poem.
Kebba Manneh, chair of UNISON Cymru Wales Black Members Group said,
“Modern day slavery is on the rise and it is a stain on humanity. We must do everything we can to root it out and protect vulnerable individuals.
“UNISON is committed to tackling discrimination and exploitation in every form. Most modern slavery case referrals in Wales are for exploitation at work, so trade unions like us have a major role to play in fighting it.
“In UNISON, we want to work hard to help educate our members and the wider community in recognising the signs of exploitation.”
Notes for editors
- Using International Labour Organization figures, the Human Trafficking Foundation says that there are more people in slavery today across the world, than in the entire 350-year history of the transatlantic slave trade. The Foundation says the extent of human trafficking in the UK is likely to be far greater than the NRM statistics would suggest.
- Justice-and-Care-Centre-for-Social-Justice-It-Still-Happens-Here 2020 says based on a new police data analysis tool it is believed that there could be at least 100,000 victims in the UK.
- To report slavery, you should call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 0121700. There is also a telephone number providing support for victims: 0800 731 8147.
- UNISON Cymru Wales Black members’ event to mark International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition was held online on Monday 23 August 12pm – 2pm.
- The online Modern Slavery Awareness Training was been developed by Jasmin Ahmed from Black Association Women Step Out in partnership with Welsh government, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, and UNISON’s Aneurin Bevan branch.
- UNISON National Secretary Gloria Mills and UNISON Cymru Wales regional convenor Dave Rees, also addressed the meeting and reaffirmed UNISON’s commitment to tackling modern day slavery.
Alastair Gittins, UNISON Cymru Wales press officer on 07816 53 83 97