Local MP Carolyn Harris Joins Unseen’s ‘Let’s Nail It’ Campaign to Raise Awareness of Slavery in Nail Bars
Carolyn Harris MP is taking part in anti-slavery charity Unseen’s ‘Let’s Nail It’ campaign, joining celebrities, businesses and community groups across the country who have painted their nails to raise awareness of slavery in nail salons. The campaign asks the general public to spot the signs of slavery in nail bars and call the national Modern Slavery Helpline if they are concerned.
Unseen works with survivors of modern slavery and trafficking and operates the national Modern Slavery Helpline. They have teamed up with The British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology (BABTAC) to work directly with salons and the public to ensure customers know the signs of slavery and visit legitimate slave-free salons.
Since launching in October 2016, the Modern Slavery Helpline has received reports of slavery in nail bars from at least 35 locations across the UK, indicating over 100 potential victims, 11 of which have been children.
2018 saw the first successful prosecution of modern slavery involving minors, where two people were jailed after forcing children trafficked from Vietnam to work in nail bars in Bath.
Carolyn Harris MP says:
‘Raising public awareness around slavery in nail bars is a crucial step in tackling this hidden crime. I strongly encourage consumers to remain vigilant to the signs of modern slavery, to ensure that perpetrators of human trafficking are exposed and victims are given the help and support they need.’
Unseen’s managing director Kate Garbers says:
“As the public learns about signs and indicators of modern slavery, our calls increase. Over the last two months, we have had an increasing number of disturbing cases reported – an indication that these campaigns and media coverage of the real issue is making a difference.
This is exactly the sort of response we want – an understanding that modern slavery and exploitation may be occurring in some of the nail bars people regularly use and then to have the confidence to pick up the phone and speak to someone about it if they have concerns.”
Here are some signs for you to look out for:
What do employees look like?
Do they appear withdrawn and neglected or unwilling to engage? Do they appear younger than you’d expect? Are they avoiding eye contact, or is the presence or behaviour of another individual making them appear frightened? Are they resistant to being paid directly?
Is there a manager who takes the money and is overbearing or abusive?
Are there living quarters upstairs or attached to the nail salon? Are employees brought to work at the same time?
What do they sound like?
Do they seem hesitant to talk? Do they speak to others in the salon? Can they speak English? Being unable to speak English can increase people’s vulnerability.
How do you feel?
It’s difficult to quantify, but trust your gut instinct. Do prices seem ‘too good to be true’? Is the vibe you’re getting making you feel uncomfortable? If you can’t quite put your finger on it but you feel that some of the above indicators are present, you can report suspicions to the Modern Slavery Helpline.
If you suspect someone to be a victim of modern slavery you can report your suspicions or seek advice by phoning the Modern Slavery Helpline: 08000 121 700
About Unseen and the Modern Slavery Helpline:
Unseen is a charity that operates across three main areas: supporting survivors of human trafficking and modern slavery; equipping front line staff and businesses with the tools to correctly identify victims and take appropriate action; and influencing governments at a strategic level to create long-lasting solutions to modern slavery. In 2015, Unseen was awarded, Charity of the Year: with an income of less than £1 million, by Charity Times Awards.
The new UK-wide Modern Slavery Helpline and Resource Centre established in October 2016 provides victims, the public, statutory agencies and businesses with access to information and support on a 24/7 basis. Potential victims who call the helpline can talk to fully trained call handlers who will guide and assist them to access relevant services, including Government-funded support through the National Referral Mechanism. Statutory agencies calling the helpline will be supported in dealing with potential victims and signposted to the range of information, guidance and tools available through the associated resource centre. To raise awareness of the helpline and ensure that it provides the services that potential callers want, we are working closely with a range of diverse stakeholders including law enforcement agencies, non-governmental organisations, businesses, media and faith organisations.
For further information or to arrange interviews with Unseen’s front line team please contact the press office. Tel: 0303 040 2888 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org