The Commissioner has commissioned the Passage, a leading homelessness charity that have supported clients who have experienced exploitation and modern slavery, to conduct an exercise to identify the nature and scale of modern slavery issues within the homelessness sector.
Some victims of modern slavery are vulnerable due to specific circumstances, for example homelessness, a history of abuse, alcohol or drug dependencies. The Commissioner therefore believes it is important to work in partnership with organisations who have direct access to such people, in order to prevent exploitation, raise awareness, and protect potential victims.
Having previously identified links between modern slavery and homelessness, as well as a significant lack of evidence, the Commissioner commissioned homeless charity, The Passage, to investigate this issue.
A report titled ‘Understanding and Responding to Modern Slavery within the Homelessness Sector’ was launched in January 2016. The UK’s anti-slavery sector has been aware of the prevalence of homelessness among victims for some time, and the homelessness sector has been aware of slavery among clients, but there has been little coordination between both sectors until now. The report found that 64% of homelessness organisations responding to the research survey had indeed come across potential cases of modern slavery.
The Commissioner will continue to engage with the homelessness sector, as well as relevant authorities, to ensure the report recommendations in the report are implemented.
The Commissioner also works in partnership with diaspora communities, diplomatic missions, faith based groups and community organisations in order to reach those who are potentially vulnerable to modern slavery.