06 February 2019

The Modern Slavery Helpline Manager at Unseen UK delivered an informative speech as part of the ‘Think Family’ Conference on Modern Slavery to help Trust staff identify potential victims of modern slavery. 

Rachel Harper touched on how modern slavery works, who can be a victim, what methods of control can be used on a victim, what questions to ask potential victims and when to call the Unseen Helpline. She also emphasized the role that health professionals have in denouncing modern slavery, considering that they deal with vulnerable people on a daily basis.

Examples of action taken by health professionals include front desk staff at a GPs’ office identifying a high number of women registered at the same address and notifying the Unseen organisation, which then liaised with the authorities and planned an intervention, as well as practitioners seeing a patient who was afraid of the person waiting for them outside and notifying the police.

Rachel told the audience: “Within the context of receiving medical care are crucial moments when a victim of modern slavery could be identified by a professional and possibly disclosing exploitation.

“Professionals who are knowledgeable as to how to spot the signs and who maintain high professional curiosity, aware of indicators of vulnerability and exploitation, are invaluable, as victims may then engage in appropriately confidential, victim-centered conversations, hopefully moving towards situations where they can leave dangerous situations and receive needed services.”

The conference was held at the Professional Development Centre in London on Thursday, 31 January.

ELFT’s Modern Day Slavery Declaration can be found here https://www.elft.nhs.uk/Modern-Day-Slavery-Statement 

Visit the Unseen website for more information and materials https://www.unseenuk.org