How Calderdale is playing an active role in fighting modern slavery

Calderdale Council's Cabinet agreed to recommend to full council that it approves a Modern Slavery Act Transparency statement
Calderdale Council's Cabinet agreed to recommend to full council that it approves a Modern Slavery Act Transparency statement

Calderdale Council is playing an active part in fighting modern slavery when it arises in the borough.

Cabinet agreed to recommend to full council that it approves a Modern Slavery Act Transparency statement which sets out Calderdale’s actions to understand all potential modern slavery risks related to its business and put in place steps to ensure there is no slavery or human trafficking in its own businesses and supply chains.

The document sets out practices already in place at the council and actions undertaken in response to the introduction of Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act in which it has a duty to report suspected cases to Government.

READ MORE: How to prevent modern slavery on Calderdale's streets

Practices already in place cover regular policy reviews, an employee code of conduct, recruitment processes, use of agency workers, pay, whistleblowing, councillors’ code of conduct and declarations of interest, their induction and training, safeguarding, training, contractors and service providers, partnership working and high risk areas. .

In July Calderdale Police rescued two teenagers believed to have been trafficked into the UK by criminal gangs.

READ MORE: Teens rescued from human trafficking gangs by Calderdale police

Leader of the council and Cabinet chair Coun Tim Swift said a number of points to consider had been raised when Full Council discussed the issue in the summer and this picked up a lot of those issues.

“The council is already working with the police in a number of operations which have taken place and are ongoing, including safeguarding issues,” he said.

Coun Susan Press (Lab, Todmorden), Cabinet member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, said modern slavery included things like human trafficking, exploitation of individuals and individual imprisonment.

“It is something we take absolutely seriously and it is important that we do all we can to prevent instances of modern slavery in Calderdale,” she said.

Cabinet members also agreed to sign the Co-operative Party’s Charter on Modern Slavery.