Modern Day Slavery and the Waste Industry

The CIWM North East Regional Meeting, held in York on the 7th December 2018 included a presentation from Andy Leonard from Yorkshire and Humber Police, on Modern Day Slavery and its presence in the waste industry.

Some 70% of victims of modern slavery are reported to have been associated with the waste industry and the presentation have examples of how waste companies are at risk of implicating themselves by employing workers who are victims of slavery.  Whilst businesses should already be aware of the Modern Slavery Act (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/30/contents/enacted) many may not be aware of how easy it is to be implicated in this issue unwittingly.

Things to look our for, in order to identify if an employee is a victim, include

i)                Little or no English spoken – victims often rely on 1 group member to translate

ii)               Workers often keep themselves to themselves, or stay in groups

iii)              Little or no interaction with permanent staff

iv)              Sometimes show signs of abuse, physical or mental – scared, withdrawn

More information is available from the organisation Stronger Together - please visit the website for this and some useful videos: https://www.stronger2gether.org/ 

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