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'It's appalling anyone is forced to work as a slave' - charity raising awareness of modern slavery

PUBLISHED: 07:00 14 October 2019 | UPDATED: 08:58 14 October 2019

The Salvation Army has raised concerns about modern slavery. Picture: Simon Parkin

The Salvation Army has raised concerns about modern slavery. Picture: Simon Parkin

Archant

More than 80 people from the East of England treated as modern slaves received charity help last year, a report has revealed.

The Salvation Army, which released the document, is concerned that there are many more people in the region being forced into slavery who have not sought help.

It has been published to coincide with anti-slavery day on Friday, October 18.

To help raise awareness of how widespread slavery is, the Salvation Army is urging people to wear a #WeAreNotForSale temporary tattoo and to post images of the tattoo on social media.

Major Kathy Betteridge, the Salvation Army's director of anti-trafficking and modern slavery, said: "It's appalling that anyone is forced to work as a slave whether a British national or a victim from across the world. Our report shows that gangs target vulnerable people, often with mental health issues to act as drug runners, or to move cash.

"However, people are also being forced to work as slaves in places like farms, car washes, and even nail bars."

She added: "By wearing the tattoo, you will help remind people to be aware of the signs that someone could be working as a slave near to you."

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The Salvation Army report found that:

■Between July 2018 and June 2019 there were 83 victims in the region;

■Of these victims, five were British people;

■In the same period last year 101 victims needed support, a decrease of 18 per cent.

The #WeAreNotForSale temporary tattoo takes the form of a barcode to symbolise how slavery treats a person as if they can be bought and sold.

They can be bought from the Salvation Army website, www.salvationarmy.org.uk, and in Salvation Army charity shops.

All profits will pay for additional support for modern slavery victims.

The Salvation Army has provided specialist support for adult victims of human trafficking in England and Wales, including safe accommodation, counselling, medical care and translation services, since 2011.

■If you have suspicions of someone forced into slavery, call the confidential 24/7 Salvation Army referral helpline on 0300 3038151.

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