Modern slavery and human trafficking

West Suffolk Council takes the issue of modern slavery and human trafficking seriously. This page sets out the different ways in which we are working to minimise modern slavery and what members of the public can do to help.

What is modern slavery?

Modern slavery encompasses slavery, servitude, forced or compulsory labour and human trafficking. It affects both adult and child victims who may struggle to come forward to seek help due to many factors, including language barriers, threats, fear of the perpetrators and fear of being criminalised.

There are several broad categories of exploitation linked to modern slavery, which include:

  • sexual exploitation
  • labour exploitation
  • child-related crimes, such as child sexual exploitation and child criminal exploitation
  • criminal exploitation – forced begging, illegal drug cultivation, organised theft, and related benefit frauds
  • forced or sham marriage.

We understand the risk that all forms of modern slavery and exploitation pose domestically to residents and visitors to West Suffolk, as well as internationally through the global nature of modern supply chains. We are fully committed to using all means open to us to tackle modern slavery by using our statutory powers, our role as a public procurer and through using the strengths of all our partnerships with the police, the NHS and other organisations and through wider awareness raising.

What we are doing

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 places a duty to notify on West Suffolk Council, as well as a duty to refer individuals under the National Referral Mechanism (NRM).  

Staff are equipped in this duty through our robust safeguarding training and provided with ongoing support and online courses. 

Much of our work to prevent modern slavery, however, is done in partnership with other Suffolk agencies. We are a partner of the Western Suffolk Community Safety Partnership (WSCSP) which has adopted modern slavery as a priority area.

We will continue to work with all our partners to ensure we raise awareness, support victims (through the NRM) and provide our staff with up to date training.

West Suffolk Council Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

We have adopted a statement, in line with section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. The document explains the steps that we continue to take to minimise the risk of slavery or human trafficking within our organisation, our sub-contractors, partners or supply chains.

Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

Useful contacts

If you have concerns about potential instances of modern slavery or human trafficking, you can call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121700 for specialist support and guidance.