A regional response to modern day slavery will be explored on Wednesday 6 November when the University of Bedfordshire hosts an event to increase awareness and understanding of the global challenges of slavery.
Organised by the University’s Sustainability Forum, with support from the United Nations Association (Luton), the event tasks University staff and students, representatives from Luton Borough Council, and community groups and businesses to generate ideas and actions to prevent slavery.
The event draws on the vast practitioner experience of local and regional organisations who provide an array of services along with expertise from the University’s Dr Helen Connolly and Dr Patricia Hynes, who have both directly informed the government’s approach to the Modern Slavery Act
Participants will learn about international and national frameworks for protection against slavery and trafficking, as a basis from which to contribute to the development of a regional response to tackle human rights concerns. For students at the University, it gives them a valuable insight to real life issues that their courses can prepare them for.
Dr Helen Connolly, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Bedfordshire, said: “Modern day slavery is more common than we like to think. It is under our noses, within our communities, and is an issue that affects us all, but more importantly it affects young people across the UK and abroad.
“There has been an increase in children identified as potential victims of modern slavery. Indeed in the most recent global slavery index it is estimated that Britain is home to at least 136,000 potential victims of modern slavery. Its prevalence is an abhorrence in today’s world but highlights the need for us all to work to uphold and protect the standards of human rights and dignity and to promote justice, equality and peace locally and globally.”
Dr Diana Pritchard, Principal Curriculum Developer at the University of Bedfordshire, who coordinates the Sustainability Forum and this event said: “This University recognises the need to be centrally involved in regional responses to the challenges to human rights and dignity that is presented by modern day slavery.
“By making a link between the globally agreed UN Sustainability Development Goals and local action, this event will give our students and people from across the community an opportunity to be actively involved in change that can make our communities safer and stronger.”
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