"As Victims’ Minister my role is to ensure that they are not forgotten, but it is a job I can’t do alone” says Victims’ Minister at Salvation Army Conference for Local Authorities on human trafficking
Over 300 organisations and individuals who support victims of human trafficking came together today to share best practice and learn more about local and national priorities for supporting victims of human trafficking. The Anti-Human Trafficking 2013 conference was targeted at Local Authorities and was organised by The Salvation Army which was appointed in July 2011 by the Ministry of Justice to provide support services to adult victims of human trafficking in England and Wales. The conference enabled attendees to discuss and share best practice on how to effectively combat human trafficking and support victims in their local area.
A Ministerial keynote address set the scene for the conference as Victims’ Minister Helen Grant outlined how partnership is at the heart of UK strategy to tackle trafficking. She said:
As Victims’ Minister I will do all I can to protect and support victims of trafficking, but it is a job I can’t do alone.
Local Authorities and their partners have a fundamental role to play if we’re to stamp out trafficking and ensure that victims get the support they so very much need and deserve. Tackling and combating Human Trafficking is very much a joint-effort; no single department or agency can deal with it alone.
I want to encourage Local Authorities, and their partners, to see what more we can do together to crack down on this sickening crime.”
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Organisations and individuals shared experiences of good practice; debated critical issues and considered how to improve services in the future. A tool-kit containing key learnings from the conference and information on useful resources will be available shortly via www.salvationarmy.org.uk so that local authorities can benefit from the work undertaken by speakers and delegates during the conference.
Since July 2011 The Salvation Army and its partners have supported over 800 victims of trafficking thanks to a £2million fund from the Ministry of Justice. The Salvation Army’s Anti-Trafficking Response co-ordinator, Major Anne Read commented:
Working together with local authorities and other agencies engaged in anti-human trafficking and sharing experiences and best practice is vital in helping us achieve our aim to empower and enable victims as they begin to rebuild their lives. We hope that following today more local authorities will be aware of the support available to them and benefit from hearing how other agencies are successfully tackling this challenging issue.”
Delegates were offered a number of opportunities:Masterclasses held by Local Authorities sharing examples of good practice Speed-networking sessions facilitated by agencies working with The Salvation Army to provide support and accommodation to victims Interactive workshops focusing on solutions to key issues faced by organisations across the sector and the wider community by organisations including the Metropolitan Police, the Gangmasters Licensing Association and campaigning charities
The conference was chaired by Baroness Butler-Sloss who summarised the impact of the day in raising awareness and fostering joint working when she said:
This conference has been a wonderful opportunity to spread the word to large numbers of people who need to know more about the appalling crime of human trafficking so they can spread the word amongst their communities.”
Download the Anti-Human Trafficking 2013 Conference brochure
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