Unseen worker carries baton for Commonwealth Games

Unseen caseworker Eva Daly carries Commonwealth Games baton to raise awareness of modern slavery
Photo credit: Comic Relief/Daniel Loveday

Unseen Caseworker Eva Daly has been selected as a Batonbearer in the prestigious Queen’s Baton Relay ahead of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

Eva is one of Unseen’s frontline workers, providing critical face-to-face support for those escaping human trafficking and modern slavery. 

To recognise her work and help raise awareness of the issue, Eva will carry the Baton on the Bristol part of its journey through England on its way to the Commonwealth Games.

Says Eva: “I didn’t tell anyone at first; I couldn’t quite believe it. You don’t get many opportunities like this in life so I’m going to throw myself into it.

“It’s so nice for people to have said such nice things about me and the work I do, but I really don’t stand out any more than the rest of the team here at Unseen; they’re all amazing.

“I’ll certainly be thinking of the whole team and all the people we’ve worked with when I’m running with the Baton.” 

Watch the film about Eva, below.

About Commonwealth Baton relay

The relay began in October 2021 and is now on the final leg of its journey to all 72 nations and territories of the Commonwealth.

Eva was nominated to carry the Baton by Sport Relief, a charity partner of the Commonwealth Games and one of Unseen’s funders.

Samir Patel, Chief Executive of Comic Relief, which runs the Sport Relief campaign, says: “It’s a huge honour for Eva to be part of the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay and we are so proud of her. This Relay not only marks the start of an incredible summer of sport, it is also an example of how sport has the power to unite and connect people across the UK and the globe.  

Sport Relief funds go towards Unseen’s work supporting survivors in our safehouses and in the community, as well as our 24-hour Modern Slavery & Exploitation Helpline.

Find out more about how we work with survivors as well as first-hand testimonies from survivors themselves.

Related stories

Justine Currell

As I came to understand more about the issue, including through a visit to an Unseen safehouse, I knew I needed to do more to stop this abuse and exploitation.

For the last five years of my Civil Service career, I was the Modern Slavery Senior Policy Advisor in the Home Office and led on development of the Modern Slavery Act, including the transparency in supply chains provision and business guidance.

I joined Unseen to lead the development of the Modern Slavery & Exploitation Helpline, and Unseen’s work with businesses. I am regularly called upon to present at national and international conferences and use my experience of working with Ministers to influence other governments internationally to take action to address modern slavery and, in particular, business supply chain issues.

In my spare time I enjoy keeping fit, music, reading and travelling.

Andrew Wallis

What ultimately compelled me to act was a report on how people from Eastern Europe were being trafficked through Bristol airport to the USA. Kate Garbers, who went on to be an Unseen Director, and I wrote to all the city councillors, MPs and the Police Chief Constable challenging them on the issue. The challenge came back to us: this city needs safe housing for trafficked women. And so Unseen began.

But we never wanted Unseen to be just about safe housing. We wanted to end slavery once and for all, and that remains our driving focus.

I chaired the working group for the Centre for Social Justice’s landmark report “It Happens Here: Equipping the United Kingdom to Fight Modern Slavery”. This is now acknowledged as the catalyst behind the UK’s Modern Slavery Act of 2015. It was a great honour to be awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours that year. On the other hand, I’ve also been described as “the loveliest disrupter you could ever hope to meet”.

This job has taken me from building flat-pack furniture for safehouses, to working with businesses to address slavery in supply chains, to delivering training, raising awareness and advising governments around the world.

When not at work, I enjoy travelling, spending time with my dog Harley, cooking, supporting Liverpool and Yorkshire CC, music (I’m a former DJ) and endurance events such as the Three Peaks Challenge and Tribe Freedom Runs – which I vow never to do again. Until the next time.