News / 29th April 2019

Partners join Unseen to launch Helpline Report

An event was held at the House of Commons last Wednesday to launch the Modern Slavery Helpline 2018 Annual Assessment, bringing together MPs and representatives from the government, law enforcement, academics, businesses, the church, NGOs and the media.

Hosting the event, Darren Jones MP said: “Modern slavery became a very real issue for me shortly after I became MP for Bristol North – survivors coming for support, labour and sexual exploitation in my constituency. Unseen, the partners in this increasingly important work, keep doing what you’re doing.”

The report showed a 46% increase in the number of potential victims indicated through reports to the Helpline, from 4,886 in 2017 to 7,121 in 2018. There was also a 68% increase in the number of calls and webforms received.

Also in attendance was Mark Burns-Williamson, the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, who told attendees: “In my office, we support the Modern Slavery Helpline as much as we can: we promote your awareness campaigns and we make sure police are aware of your services. Police officers often tell me of the real value of your service.”

Director Justine Currell said: “I’ve said this before and I don’t mind saying it again. It’s not just a Helpline, it’s a lifeline. We have managed to have people stopped at the border. We’ve prevented trafficking. Within ten minutes of a call we can have people there on the scene.” She offered her direct thanks to the Helpline staff, who work 24/7 to provide a free and confidential service, saying “We couldn’t do it without you.”

It was wonderful to see so many dedicated partners from various organisations and roles congregate to discuss the findings of the Helpline and how to collaborate effectively to end modern slavery.

Read the 2018 Annual Assessment here, or read the Executive Summary here.