Zero tolerence from eResponse Group on human trafficking
The fight against human trafficking and the modern day slave trade is being supported by eResponse Group.
It is over seven years since eResponse Group invested in new technology to rigorously screen the passports of every person who comes to work through the Midlands agency, but to underline the firm’s stance on the national problem, staff have also been given refresher training by the charity Hope for Justice to help spot the signs of human trafficking.
At the event, held at eResponse’s Redditch office, Gary Booth from the charity explained how many trafficked people may have no passport or identity documents, no access to a bank account and are often accompanied by the trafficker who does all the talking for them. Staff will now put the updated training into practice with every applicant for work or training.
Operations director, Joe Alekna, said he was concerned by regular news reports of alleged human trafficking, including unlicensed gang-masters exploiting migrant workers.
He said, “For many people it’s hard to believe that in Great Britain in 2016 there still exists a form of the slave trade.
“Anyone who might be trying to exploit a worker has no business with eResponse. We are determined to make sure that if anyone comes to us for employment and they are being trafficked, we will rapidly spot the signs and we will take action.
“The session with Gary was great. Although we have robust systems in place it helped to reiterate to us all the importance of spotting potentially vulnerable people and has made our stance on human trafficking even stronger.”
eResponse consultants are using identity scanners to check issues such as verifying passports and identity cards.
Gary Booth from Hope for Justice, added, “eResponse Group have systems in place to identify and prevent slavery entering local businesses. Responsible employers won’t want to be funding this cruel and exploitative, illegal industry and I’m pleased to see a recruitment provider taking such a proactive step to do its bit to stamp out this crime.”
In 2014 the UK National Referral Mechanism received 2,114 referrals of potential victims of trafficking in England, a 36% rise on the year before. Latest figures show that in the first three months of 2015 at least 161 people were found to have been trafficked in the UK, out of 731 referrals to the authorities. Many of the rest were still having their circumstances investigated when the statistics were compiled by the National Crime Agency in the summer.
The Modern Day Slavery Act 2015 states that convicted traffickers can be sentenced to life in prison.