Collaboration between the Commissioner and the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) has led to an inspection of Border Force’s response to the identification of potential victims of modern slavery on entry to the UK.
Combating modern slavery requires the expertise, resources and efforts of many different individuals and entities. A multi-agency approach is crucial in ensuring an effective and coordinated response to modern slavery. Partnerships allow for the sharing of key information about the nature and scale of the problem, as well as the exchange of good practice, thereby filling any gaps in knowledge or skills that might not otherwise exist.
Furthermore, victims of modern slavery often have complex medical, emotional, psychological, practical and legal needs that can only be met by establishing partnerships with a range of services at local and regional levels.
The Commissioner recognises the importance of multi-agency partnerships not only for the purposes of prompt identification of modern slavery victims, but also in signposting and supporting victims on their journey to recovery. As such, he has been working to ensure a consistent and high standard of partnership working across the UK.
The Commissioner has continuously engaged with multi-agency partnerships throughout the UK by participating in their regular meetings, speaking at events and sharing and promoting good practice. The Commissioner has also engaged with a number of stakeholders providing his independent views to support the development of effective partnerships; an important component of an effective anti-slavery movement.
In recent years, a number of multi-agency partnerships of different sizes have been formed to help tackle exploitation across the UK. However, relatively little has been known and understood about the different partnership responses to modern slavery and their effectiveness.
The Commissioner therefore embarked on a joint project with the University of Nottingham to map out existing multi-agency partnerships, identify potential examples of ‘good practice’ and understand the conditions that helped to facilitate success. The report is available here, and the University is continuing this work by developing a toolkit for effective partnership working.