Unchosen in Weston

A national anti-slavery charity and North Somerset Council have teamed up to present an evening of film and debate about modern slavery and how to prevent it.

Unchosen will be hosting the free event at the Winter Gardens in Weston-super-Mare on Tuesday 21 November from 7 to 8.30pm with doors opening at 6.30pm.

If you work with the homeless, refugees or migrants and children in care/care leavers, or you’re just interested in modern slavery, you are invited to come along to the anti-slavery film and a Q&A session with a select panel of experts, to hear more about Stay Safe from Slavery and what you can do to help.

Howard Pothecary, North Somerset Council’s Community Safety Manager, said: “The issue of modern slavery is becoming more widely known and recognised as an issue in all areas across the country. We’re very pleased to hosting this event with Unchosen to highlight these issues and to let people know what they can do to help.”

Melissa Blackburn, the CEO of Unchosen said: “I think we all recognise that if you’re homeless, a refugee or asylum seeker, or a child in care or care leaver, you’re much more likely to be the target of exploitation and slavery. We all know that to be true.”

Research carried out by Unchosen has shown that the more vulnerable you are in our society, the more likely you are to be targeted by traffickers and exploiters, and to become a victim of modern slavery. In 2014 the government’s Modern Slavery Strategy called for more work to be done to stop vulnerable groups falling into slavery, but very little has since been done. Stay Safe from Slavery is an innovative way of trying to stop slavery before it starts.

Since last month Unchosen is partnering with charities, NGOs and local authorities across the South West who work with the homeless, young people in care and care leavers, refugees and asylum seekers.  The organisation will be delivering free Stay Safe from Slavery toolkits to these partners, packed with Unchosen’s unique short films, resources and information. The aim of these toolkits is to support people who are more likely to be exploited, giving them the tools to spot the signs of slavery, and avoid it where possible. The charity will also be targeting frontline workers who work in these sectors, showing them what slavery looks like and what they can do about it.

Melissa Blackburn added: “Our new Stay Safe from Slavery project aims to show vulnerable people what slavery looks like, so they don’t get trapped by traffickers and exploiters. We hope that everyone who works with these groups can come to this event to learn more about our exciting new project.”