17 Oct Indirock supports Anti-Slavery Day
Modern Slavery can take many forms and sadly is still prevalent across the UK, including in Southend. 18th October is Anti-Slavery Day and Indirock stands in solidarity with this important cause.
What is Modern Slavery?
Anyone can be a target for modern slavery. But some people can be at more risk because of money, social or health issues, or because of their age or immigration status. Essex Police explain that victims are:
- controlled or held captive
- threatened or punished to stop them escaping or reporting the crime
Why does Indirock care?
Southend is an area where county lines gangs are prevalent, which means that children and young people are being exploited to sell drugs. In a recent survey of young people across Essex, on average 50% of young people across Essex were concerned about being exploited by gangs. That figure jumped to 83% of young people in Southend specifically.
Supporting vulnerable young people and giving them hope for a better future is one of Indirock’s core aims as a not-for-profit. That’s why we’re standing in solidarity with this year’s Anti-Slavery Day campaign.
What are we doing to help?
Through funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, we currently offer work experience opportunities to young people with mental health issues, who are neurodivergent, who have been excluded from school or might already have a criminal record. In other words, young people who might not otherwise be given a chance by employers. But we want to do so much more.
Research has shown that young people at risk of exploitation have asked for more access to sports and safe spaces which will keep them out of harm’s way. We’re currently applying for funding to make Indirock a space that vulnerable children and young people can enjoy, regardless of cost or the need to bring an adult supervisor with them. Wish us luck and watch this space!
More information on County Lines
Essex’s Violence and Vulnerability Unit does amazing work researching this issue and working to ensure the main criminals are caught, rather than locking up child victims of exploitation. This is an excerpt taken from their website:
County Lines is a way people sell drugs – moving drugs across the County using phone lines to arrange deals and drop offs.
At first it might seem simple, harmless even, new friends, alcohol, money, new trainers or clothes – but it will escalate, before you realise it you’re carrying drugs.
It may start with delivering a package for an older sibling, an older friend even, but County Lines gangs aren’t your friends. They won’t be there for you when you’re taking the risk, breaking the law.
Knowing the signs of County Lines can help. Help you make the right choice, help you walk away, help you keep your friends and their respect. Having a passion, real friends, sport, drama, dance – something you love doing – can be all the distraction you need.
Worried about your mates?
It’s never too late to help. If their behaviour has suddenly changed, they’ve got new things, they don’t want to hang out anymore then question why.
Ask them if they are ok, get advice from an adult you trust, phone the helpline below for support; let your mate know there is help.