Skip to content Skip to menu

BCHA urges - Take action to ensure UK Government listens to slavery survivors

Today, as we celebrate Ant-Slavery Day (Oct 18) over 40 million people are held in modern slavery here in the UK and across the world.

That’s why BCHA has joined with 17 other charities in a letter to government, calling for their views to be heard - and why we are also inviting the public to assert their concern to those in power.

Survivors of slavery are the only people who have direct knowledge of how modern slavery takes place.

Efforts to stop slavery will always fall short unless this expertise from lived experience is listened to.

Yet too often survivors don’t have a seat at the decision-making table.

This Anti-Slavery Day the Coalition to Stop Slavery is calling for survivors of modern slavery to be listened to.

As Pachaiyammal, a leader in the Released Bonded Labourers Association, founding member of the Global Survivor Network, and survivor of bonded labour says:

“Our voices united, our collective strength, is real power. When survivors are at the table, where decisions are made, change happens. Real sustainable solutions are possible. Listen to me. Listen to us. I will continue working for my people until my last breath.”

We believe that survivors must be part of a conversation that is about them.

If we are to create real and lasting change, we must do so together.

You can also take action today by emailing your MP and asking them to write to the Home Secretary calling for a formal process for survivors to be consulted in anti-slavery legislation and policy making.

You can find your MP at: https://members.parliament.uk/FindYourMP

Below is a sample email letter you are free to use.

Thank you for joining us this Anti-Slavery Day 2021.

 

Dear [insert MP name], 

This Anti-Slavery Day, I am writing as your constituent to ask that you raise the need for survivor inclusion in anti-slavery legislation and policy making with the Home Secretary. 

Today, over 40 million people are held in modern slavery. Survivors of this abuse are the only people who have direct knowledge of how modern slavery takes place. Efforts to stop slavery will always fall short unless this expertise from lived experience is listened to.

Yet, too often survivors don’t have a seat at the decision-making table.  BCHA is calling for the expertise and perspectives of survivors of modern slavery to be integrated into legislation and policy making. Pachaiyammal, a leader in the Released Bonded Labourers Association, co-founder of the Global Survivor Network (globalsurvivornetwork.org), and survivor of bonded labour says:

“Our voices united, our collective strength, is real power. When survivors are at the table, where decisions are made, change happens. Real sustainable solutions are possible. Listen to me. Listen to us. I will continue working for my people until my last breath.”  

I believe that survivors must be part of a conversation that is about them. As your constituent, I am asking you to write to Home Secretary Priti Patel calling for a formal process for survivor consultation which ensures that diverse survivor perspectives are integrated at all stages of legislation and policy-making. Critically, Government should work with survivor groups and civil society to create a consultation process that is trauma-informed and prioritises the wellbeing of all those involved. The review of the Modern Slavery Strategy is an opportunity to develop and implement an inclusive, supportive and robust mechanism for survivors to input into anti-slavery efforts, both domestic and international.

I look forward to hearing from you on what steps have been taken towards improving survivor inclusion. 

Best wishes, 

[Insert name here] 

[Insert postcode here] 

Was this information helpful?