Today, Thursday 14 March, I joined Anti-Slavery International and other organisations from the Free for Good campaign as well as two modern slavery survivors from Survivor Alliance to hand deliver a petition to No 10 Downing Street.
The petition is made up of a staggering 60,000 actions* including thousands from Co-op members. It urges the UK Government to back the Lord McColl’s Bill and provide survivors of modern slavery with 12 months to recover.
Our Co-op has been one of the leading campaigners on the support for survivors. Thanks to the efforts of thousands of members we’ve supported Lord McColl’s Bill because we’ve seen through the Bright Future programme the issues survivors face.
Currently, the Government only guarantees 45 days of support to potential victims whilst their cases are reviewed by the Home Office. This is to decide whether they’re deemed to have been a victim of this heinous crime. After the decision’s made, limited support is available and many victims struggle to make ends meet, with some becoming homeless and at risk of re-trafficking as a result.
Having Lord McColl’s Bill in place would change this.
It’s clear survivors of modern slavery need more time to receive support from which they can sustainably rebuild their lives – 45 days is simply not realistic. If the Government doesn’t take notice of this, there’s a very real chance these victims could fall back into the hands of those who’ve exploited them before, and for the terrible, unspeakable cycle of enslavement to begin again.
Our Co-op has stood in solidarity with survivors as part of our campaign and to help give them their voice at No 10 Downing Street is what the Co-op is about.
Find out more about how we’re tackling modern slavery by checking out some of our previous blog posts.
Senior Public Affairs Manager
*Actions taken include:
- Anti-Slavery International: 11,519 signatures under petition asking the Home Secretary Sajid Javid to back the Bill
- Freedom United: 27,212 signatures under petition asking the Prime Minister Theresa May to back the Bill
- Global Citizen and Co-op, joint action: 9,996 emails sent to MPs, 5,536 tweets sent to MPs, 4,036 emails sent to Theresa May and Sajid Javid, 869 tweets sent to Theresa May and Sajid Javid
- Free For Good campaign: 5,073 emails sent to MPs