The Council’s first Anti-Slavery Annual Statement has been confirmed following approval from the Cabinet on 04 September. An Anti-Slavery Action Plan has also been adopted and will now be implemented.
Set out in the Annual Statement, the Council reports on three key areas of action. These are; the processes established to tackle Modern Slavery, the steps taken to protect against Modern Slavery in the Council’s supply chains, and the steps taken to ensure good employment practices.
The action plan sets out how Ceredigion County Council will address the Modern Slavery Policy, including Safeguarding and meeting the requirements of the Welsh Government’s Code of Practice on Ethical Employment in Supply Chains.
The Leader of the Council and Cabinet member responsible for Policy, Performance, Partnerships and Democratic Services, Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn said, “Last year, Ceredigion County Council became one of the first councils in Wales to adopt an Anti-Slavery Policy. We have now approved our first annual statement and adopted a dedicated action plan to tackle and deter a crime that targets some of the most vulnerable members of our society. I look forward to seeing how the plan progresses.”
The Council’s Anti-Slavery and Ethical Employment Champion, Councillor Lyndon Lloyd MBE added, “The Annual Statement and Action Plan make it very clear; the Council will take every opportunity to tackle Modern Slavery not only in its own work, but also in the supply chain that surrounds the Council. This is a real problem that affects people in both rural and urban areas. It’s important that we stay vigilant to the threat.”
Modern Slavery involves the movement, coercion and exploitation of vulnerable adults and children. Types of exploitation include labour exploitation, sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation, domestic servitude and organ harvesting. In 2017 there were 193 potential victims of modern slavery reported in Wales. 44% of those reported were children. It is estimated that there could be 10,000 to 13,000 victims of modern slavery in the UK.
Ceredigion County Council’s Anti-Slavery Policy was adopted at a meeting of full council in December 2017. Councillor Lyndon Lloyd was also appointed as our Anti-Slavery Champion at the same time. The Policy comprises an integrated approach bringing together key areas of safeguarding, human resources, procurement and civil contingencies.