Councillors overwhelmingly supported Councillor Miriam Wood’s proposal that the Town Council adopt the Anti-Slavery Charter to express opposition to the practice of modern slavery. Dover Town Council is now formally committed to using its powers and resources to empower those vulnerable to slavery, to advance emancipation and to promote access to decent work.
Councillor Wood stated in her report to Council that –
There is a strong likelihood that people are living in our town who are subject to these conditions. Policing this is not the job of the Town Council, but for us to show our abhorrence for this practice would show our support for the thinking that led to the Government’s Modern Slavery Act and express our sympathy and support for victims. It would allow us to draw attention of residents to this issue, which might well result in some victims being rescued.
The other main aspect of the Charter concerns ensuring that the organisation does not benefit indirectly from the labour of people living in modern slavery conditions worldwide. This requires organisations to examine carefully the sourcing of the goods they buy and the activities they invest in. It is very likely that we are all using goods that have been produced in part at least as a result of forced labour.