There are grim links between homelessness, human trafficking and modern slavery. The take-away message from Police Scotland at a Homeless Network Scotland members event before the Covid-19 outbreak was that a ‘false alarm is better than no alarm’. This advice rings even clearer now, with the pandemic exacerbating an already urgent situation for people affected or at risk.
There are new concerns that people trafficked into businesses that have closed due to Covid-19 (e.g. nail bars and car washes) could be forced into different work, or ‘let go’ if their trafficker can no longer make money from them. People often have no ID, papers or money and are at increased risk of homelessness, rough sleeping, destitution and exploitation including sexual exploitation. Homelessness agencies are being asked to spot the signs, to share information and continue to strengthen relationships across homelessness, trafficking, destitution and refugee services.
To get advice or report a concern contact the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 or advise the person that you are concerned about to phone this number. They can speak confidentially without giving their name.
TARA (Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance) work with women over 18 who have been trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation. Phone 0141 275 7724.
Migrant Help: Work with people over 18 who have been trafficked for any purpose other than commercial sexual exploitation. Phone 0141 8847900 /out of Hours 0141 2128553.
If you’re in Glasgow, there is a group linked directly to homelessness services, contact Joy Andrew at Restore Glasgow on firstname.lastname@example.org.