A new app is being launched to help stamp out modern slavery in the UK at the click of a button.
The Modern Slavery helpline was set up by leading anti-slavery charity Unseen working with the government in the autumn of 2016. Figures show that there were twice as many calls and online reports to it in the first half of this year with 3,300 compared to 1,500 in the same six months the year before.
The National Crime Agency estimates that there are tens of thousands of people being held in modern slavery in the UK, trapped in situations such as forced labour, domestic servitude or sex exploitation. The real number may be far higher.
Now the Unseen App is being launched which provides a simple guide to recognising the signs of modern slavery, and makes reporting it to the Helpline as easy as a click of a button. The app was developed for Unseen by the Helpline’s founding partner BT and can be found by searching ‘Unseen UK’ in app stores now.
Andrew Wallis, CEO of Unseen, said:
“Traffickers are using ever-more sophisticated technology to control and exploit their victims. It is crucial that those of us combating modern slavery must innovate too. Whether that is technology for businesses to map their supply chains, or an app for everyone to have in their pocket at the nail bar, car wash or takeaway, this isn’t just a gimmick, it’s an essential part of the fight to eradicate slavery.”
Unseen is a UK-wide national charity which believes that modern slavery can and must be eradicated. As well as running the Modern Slavery Helpline and Resource Centre, Unseen runs safe houses for men, women and children who are survivors of trafficking, and works with the police, health workers, government, businesses and others to help prevent and protect against modern slavery.
Unseen’s Modern Slavery Helpline and Resource Centre launched in October 2016. It is a 24/7 helpline, open every day of the year, including weekends and bank holidays. The Helpline is free to call, independent and confidential; callers need not provide their name or details if they prefer not to do so. On calls, Helpline Advisers - who have received extensive specialist training - ask strategic questions to gather crucial information to make a risk assessment and form a case response, which may include signposting a caller, safety planning on the phone, or sending a referral to police, local authorities or other NGOs. The Unseen App puts callers through to the Helpline, or allows them to fill in a Helpline webform.