Today The Passage launched its pioneering new Modern Slavery Toolkit to enable practitioners to identify and support survivors of modern slavery who are also homeless.
Chief Executive, Mick Clarke and Anti-Slavery Coordinator, Dr Julia Tomas, welcomed representatives from local authorities, the civil service, charities and frontline services to our very own events space – the Cathedral View Conference Centre and Rooftop Garden – alongside a panel of special guests including journalist and ITV newsreader Julie Etchingham.
In 2017, after highlighting the issue of our clients being targeted by criminals involved in modern slavery, we were commissioned by the Office of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner to map out the extent of this issue across the UK, the findings of which were captured in this report.
After uncovering strong links between modern slavery and homelessness, The Passage become the first and only homelessness organisation to recruit a dedicated Anti-Slavery Team, to provide awareness training for staff working in the sector, as well as for clients receiving services.
We now also run a specialist Navigator project, based in Westminster and Camden, assisting potential victims of modern slavery who are homeless to access appropriate care. This project began as a pilot and has since received multi-year funding as part of central government’s Rough Sleeping Initiative. Our most recent report can be found here.
Mick Clarke, Chief Executive says: “In addition to our operational work, we have also been focused on addressing systemic issues regarding the link between homelessness and modern slavery. We established a ‘Task and Finish’ Group including central government, the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, The Centre for Social Justice and other charity partners which has enabled the continued review of the links between homelessness and modern slavery, while developing strong working relationships across the sector.”
“The launch of The Passage’s Modern Slavery Toolkit seeks to encourage local authorities to take a Multi-Agency Case Conference (MACC) approach. We have led the way with this approach in Westminster, working in partnership with Westminster City Council, Crisis and DLUHC and I am encouraged to see that other local authorities are now adopting this”.
During the launch event, we shared examples of how the MACC approach has worked in practice. A panel of experts, chaired by Julie Etchingham, discussed how to effectively embed, and promote MACC working to address the link between modern slavery and homelessness at a local level.
Dr Julia Tomas, Anti-Slavery Coordinator commented: “Partnership work between frontline charities and local authorities is imperative to support survivors of modern slavery. Based on the success of the MACC approach, The Passage produced this toolkit to support other charities and local authorities to create their own modern slavery service and to do multi-agency work in a formalised way. Together, we can build a better support network for survivors of modern slavery.”