Leeds City Council has been awarded a grant of nearly £200,000 to support victims of modern slavery and reduce their risk of becoming homeless or being re-trafficked.
The council is one of six local authorities taking part in a pilot to improve and develop pathways and mechanisms to tackle issues of modern slavery and provide better support to victims. A grant of £196,000 has been awarded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Governments (MHCLG) through their Controlling Migration Fund, to enable Leeds to deliver the project.
Part of the grant is to be used to provide advocacy and support for victims of modern slavery to help improve their lives. It will also enable advocates to engage victims with the legal system to help bring perpetrators to justice and prevent more vulnerable people falling victim to modern slavery.
Funding will also be used to focus on:
- Disruption to perpetrators;
- Building Community Networks and links with specialist services;
- Raising public awareness;
- Research, evaluation and learning.
Councillor Debra Coupar, executive member for communities said:
“There is no typical victim of slavery. Victims can be men, women and children of all ages, and cut across the population, including British citizens as well as migrants. Their exploiters may use them as cheap or even free labour, as criminals or as objects of sexual gratification.
“Here in Leeds we take our responsibility towards victims of modern slavery very seriously and will be investing this grant to reduce the number of incidences of victims going back to the perpetrators, and helping them to rebuild their lives.”
This provision will form a key part of the wider, on-going programme of work to develop support pathways and responses to modern day slavery in Leeds.
Further details about the national projects awarded money through the Controlling Migration Fund please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/19-million-funding-for-councils-to-boost-integration