Covid highlights the need for better protection for the most vulnerable

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19 March 2020

Anti-Slavery International is committed to delivering freedom from slavery to everyone, everywhere, always. This includes difficult times like during the current global outbreak of the COVID-19 virus.

Protecting people from slavery is a long-term, difficult work, even in normal times, and the current situation is making things much harder.

I would like to say a huge thank you to our supporters, members and donors for standing in solidarity with people in modern slavery. It’s only thanks to you that we’re able to do what we do.

Sadly, this crisis clearly highlights the need for improved protection for the most vulnerable in our communities. People trapped in exploitation can struggle to access health care; thousands of workers in global supply chains have already lost their jobs; and people across the world on precarious contracts have been left exposed to potential job losses and made even more vulnerable to exploitation.

Our primary concerns are with those who are likely to be the most impacted. Our staff continue to work remotely, and safely, to ensure that our critical work continues.

We are coming together with colleagues in other organisations to understand the challenges of ensuring the protection of survivors of slavery here in the UK, who are particularly vulnerable. This includes making sure that people who are trapped in exploitation can safely come forward and get healthcare they need, without the threat of detention or deportation if they have no legal status.

We are also working hard to ensure that those who we support in other countries, and who often come from communities most discriminated against, are protected from harm and further exploitation.

This month we will enter our 181st year in operation. Together, we have secured fundamental freedoms for people trapped in slavery through numerous global crises, including two world wars. With your ongoing support, we will survive this crisis too and continue to support people affected by slavery across the world.

Jasmine O’Connor, CEO