Multi-Agency Steering Group: MDS and Anti-trafficking
Slavery Free Croydon Multi-Agency Steering Group
We were grateful to be awarded funding to establish and embed the first ever Croydon-wide multi-agency steering group.
Multi-agency collaboration between the public, private and third sectors is key to ensuring a Slavery Free Croydon. Our Steering Group aims to establish Croydon as a slavery-free borough over the four years 2023 -2027. We aim to co-ordinate a forum to take action on issues such as:
- Supply chains
- Labour exploitation
- Sexual exploitation
- Criminal exploitation
- Trafficked children
- Organ harvesting
Slavery Free Croydon is a natural progression of CCAT’s work. 2023 will see CCAT initiating Slavery Free Croydon through two main objectives 1) continuing our already strong awareness raising programme of workshops delivered to schools, colleges, universities, local businesses and residents; and 2) setting up the first Croydon-wide Multi-agency Steering Group.
Who should be a member?
This steering group is for:
- Any organisation or individual working in the Modern Day Slavery field (Criminal and Social Justice) including the Metropolitan Police, Immigration and Nationality Directorate, Border Control, etc.
- Local Charities with a remit working directly or indirectly with Modern Day Slavery, be that first line responders, housing and accommodation, shelters, women’s groups, refugee support, etc.
- Larger charities like Barnardo’s, The Salvation Army
- Croydon Council
- Schools, colleges, and universities – students, parents, and teachers
- Professionals, businesses, and local community groups
- Faith groups, local charities, and forums
- Care sector workers, GPs, pharmacies, and related professionals
- Small to large enterprises, micro-business owners, and sole-traders
Why you should attend
Whether a worker, concerned parent, business owner or local Croydon resident, you can help make a Slavery Free Croydon by being aware of what’s happening in your neighbourhood and workplace.
For many reasons, including the proximity to Gatwick Airport, situating of Lunar House (National Immigration Centre) and over 1000 refugees and asylum seekers currently being housed in temporary accommodation, Croydon currently has the highest levels of human trafficking in London – around 30% of the UK National average. This problem is growing: there were 10,613 reported victims in the UK in 2020, but the true figure is likely to be significantly higher due to under-reporting. During the period January 2022 to December 2022, Gov.uk shows 16,938 victims reported in the UK, showing the need for community awareness and safe reporting is escalating each year.
Croydon is also one of the boroughs with both the highest number of children identified as victims of modern slavery being referred into care and the highest numbers of criminal exploitation and labour exploitation.
The Multi-agency steering group aims to embed realistic working practices to:
- close current gaps in knowledge and keep up to date with the changes in the MDS landscape and perpetrator methods
- provide a long-term sustainable solution focusing on preventing exploitation at the earliest possible point
- co-develop future interventions based on feedback, insights and needs provided by our community
- ensure information-sharing, equipping people with knowledge, training, and confidence to report human trafficking
- listen to our community needs and implement real change at all levels
- upskill local volunteers as ‘champions’
- keep Croydon community safe
Benefits of membership
Gives organisations, individuals, and teams the understanding and knowledge of:
- Safeguarding for those vulnerable to exploitation
- Early prevention measures
- Creating Slavery Free Croydon
- Keeping vulnerable people in the community safe
- Safe reporting procedures for the local community
- Identifying and reporting concerns safely for employees
- Ethical business practices and consumer confidence in supply chain
- Community Confidence and Integration
How to book
The Next Multi-Agency Steering Group Meeting will be October 2023. Booking opens soon.
We are LAUNCHING our Modern Slavery Awareness Workshops on Thursday 21st September 2023. Please book your space via Eventbrite (opens a separate page). There will be time to learn more about Slavery Free Croydon and network with other people and groups as well.
If the link is not working copy and paste into your browser: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/modern-slavery-awareness-how-to-spot-the-signs-tickets-706837298387?aff=oddtdtcreator
Slavery Free Croydon project is funded by The National Lottery Community Fund