The seeds for Slavery Free were first planted on 12 March 2013

A week before I was given an invite to the launch of the Centre for Social Justice Report on Modern Day Slavery called It Happens Here in London.

At the National Liberal Club were representatives from scores of charities involved in tackling human trafficking in the UK. I was shocked at the scale of the problem as the speakers, including Frank Field MP and Fraser Nelson from the Spectator took to the stage to talk.

The Chair of the CSJ report was Andrew Wallis, the CEO of Bristol-based anti-slavery charity Unseen. After the event ended, I went to introduce myself. Having been a journalist since 2000, I felt compelled to use my skills and contacts to help tackle this growing problem. Andrew said to me there needed to be more joined up thinking with all the organisations involved. And that is where the seed was sown.

From that moment, I began forming an idea, a plan to create a hub to bring everything together. I slowly built connections in the anti-slavery world, had meetings with different charities and monitored all that was going on with the subject.

Back then, in early 2013 the word slavery was hardly ever used in the media. Now it is used in news articles and reports almost daily.

Slavery Free UK is about bringing everything anti-slavery into one place on the internet. A resource for victims to find help and support, for people who might suspect slavery is going on, for businesses wanting to make their supply chains slavery free and for journalists to find out information.

LET’S END IT TOGETHER

Libby Sutcliffe