The Salvation Army is an international movement which, for administrative purposes, is divided into territories. A Salvation Army territory might comprise one country or several countries; conversely, in some instances, one country might be divided into two or more territories. The principal aim is to manage as efficiently as possible an organisation that is at work in 131 countries. In every country where The Salvation Army is present, it seeks to raise awareness of the scourge of human trafficking and modern slavery and where possible to actively engage in working with victims or potential victims.
Although each Salvation Army territory is governed according to the laws and regulations of the country or countries in which it is established, there is an authority handed down to the appointed leader of each territory from the General of The Salvation Army whose office is International Headquarters in London.
For Salvation Army administrative and leadership purposes, the United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland (UKI) is one territory. For more information see:
In the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, The Salvation Army has approximately:
- 35 500 members
- 4250 employees
- 1100 Salvation Army officers (full-time ministers)
The territory is further divided into divisions with a number of Salvation Army corps (churches), social and community centres found in each.
Combating human trafficking and modern slavery is a key priority for The Salvation Army both in the UK and internationally.
The Salvation Army has delivered the UK Government’s Victims of Modern Slavery Care and Co-ordination Services contract in partnership with the Home Office and our supply chain partners since 2011. Together, we deliver accommodation, outreach and specialist support to victims of modern slavery and trafficking across England and Wales.
Between July 2018 and June 2019, a total of 2,251 people entered the service to receive support, a 21% increase on the previous year. Taking into account those people already in the service at the start of the year, 4,512 people received support from The Salvation Army between July 2018 and June 2019. 1,288 people moved on from our care during the same period.
The Salvation Army acts as both prime and subcontractor, through our safehouses and volunteer-led community programmes, drivers and chaperones. The total number of people helped under this contract since 2011 is 9,975.
The Salvation Army and our partners adopt a range of approaches to support people to get the best start when they move on to begin to live and work independently. For example, one Salvation Army safehouse sought out options for clients who were British or originated from the European Economic Area who were entitled to work in the UK. Staff established links with a local hospitality business so that those who wanted to could gain legitimate employment. Staff then worked with clients to apply for charitable funds from sources including The Salvation Army’s Victim Care Fund (see below) to secure funds for housing deposits and basic furniture and supported clients to secure tenancies in the private rented sector in the local area. Moving house and beginning to live independently can be a stressful time for people, so staff organised informal drop-in services where former clients could seek advice if they had a need.
For more information and the latest figures, see our published reports: https://www.salvationarmy.org.uk/Anti_Human_Trafficking_Latest_Report
Victim Care Fund
The Victim Care Fund (VCF) continues to provide additional funds to people who are supported through the government contract. It was established to help victims of modern slavery where no other funding is available to meet their immediate needs and to ease their transition to independent living. Secured from within The Salvation Army’s charitable funds, it is actively supported by thousands of generous donors through fundraising activities or regular giving initiatives to replenish the Victim Care Fund and help us enable survivors to recover and find hope for their futures.
In 2018/2019 the VCF supported more than 550 applications valued at over £130,000. The wide range of applications and funds awarded included:
- 187 applications for clothing for people in our service and their children including funds for school uniforms
- 63 applications for travel costs to enable people to access important appointments which fall outside of their ECAT entitlements, such as college courses
- 53 applications for maternity and baby items including funds to purchase pushchairs
- 53 applications for household items including furniture, carpets and items needed to enable a person to set up their new home for the move on to independent living
- 50 applications for people to access leisure activities including: gym memberships, swimming, boxing, bowling, the purchase of bicycles and accessories
- 38 applications for funds to pay for college, educational and therapeutic course fees and equipment required to undertake courses; for example: ESOL classes, hair and beauty courses, guitar lessons, maths and English GCSE, Open University course plus many others
- 11 applications for funds to pay for childcare costs to enable people to access specialist counselling, education and training
The VCF has assisted some of our partners and Salvation Army safehouses to pilot innovative schemes such as art and music therapy. For example, a trauma-trained art therapist was funded at one safehouse to run weekly one-to-one sessions for clients who wanted to take part. Using a variety of art media, the sessions took place in a private space – a room with no CCTV – to ensure that, due to the visual nature of this intervention, what happened in the session remained confidential and the men could feel completely at ease. The sessions were popular and had a striking impact on the men’s wellbeing. Not only would they leave the session smiling and keen to go to the next one, having enjoyed it so much, it was also instrumental in forging bonds between them as friendships formed outside the sessions as the men chatted to each other about what they had done; and eventually some of them requested a group therapy session.
Last year The Salvation Army advised HSBC on the development of the ‘Survivor Bank Account’ which is designed to overcome the difficulties victims of modern slavery can have in meeting the standard evidence threshold for opening a bank account and the reasons for this. HSBC conducted an extremely successful pilot of a secure referral pathway for survivors needing to open a bank account.
This resulted in a collaboration between The Salvation Army, our subcontractors and HSBC which has this year been rolled out across 18 cities in the UK. For each applicant, a support worker will contact our central contract office where an HSBC-approved and validated letter is generated for the purpose of opening a bank account
At a launch event held in June 2019 in Westminster, HSBC retail staff enthusiastically shared the influx of survivors benefiting from this service by opening a bank account of their own; more than 100 people were empowered to take another a vital step towards independent living.
Furthermore, The Salvation Army is now contributing our experience to the development of wider provision under the Liechtenstein Initiative Financial Access Project, a global consultation on what the financial sector should do to increase compliance with anti-slavery legislation, responsible investment and lending practices; and financial sector innovation to address modern slavery and human trafficking.
First Responders – This year our face-to-face first responder team spent more than 200 hours interviewing potential victims of modern slavery so that they could complete the paperwork to be referred into the National Referral Mechanism and on to The Salvation Army’s support. All our first responders receive special training and work alongside interpreters when necessary. As well as attending people who are in places inaccessible by telephone or for whom a face-to-face interview helps overcome anxiety, our first responders also assist at operations run by the police and the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, often at reception centres organised by The Salvation Army.
Transport – The Salvation Army has a network of nearly 400 specially trained volunteer drivers and chaperones ready to transport a survivor of modern slavery to a place of safety in England and Wales. On average last year they undertook around 70 journeys and contributed nearly 500 hours each month.
Community-based support – Our programme to pilot effective community-based support for survivors of modern slavery, as they move on from support through the National Referral Mechanism, has continued to develop this year. The network of ‘Modern Slavery Hubs’, the establishment of which was made possible through the reinvestment of Salvation Army funds by joint agreement with the Home Office, provide survivors of modern slavery with a link to their local community and signposting to the range of available support they may need. Volunteers, based mainly out of Salvation Army church and community centres, have now been trained to support survivors and offer opportunities for them to engage in their wider communities in these programmes which are led by professionals.
Using Our Influence
With survivors, The Salvation Army presented evidence to the Home Affairs Committee’s Modern Slavery Inquiry. In September 2018, the committee of MPs which scrutinises the policies of the Home Office, asked for evidence on modern slavery and support for survivors. In response The Salvation Army:
- Arranged for modern slavery survivors to attend so they could speak for themselves about their experience of exploitation and the National Referral Mechanism to MPs.
- Provided written and oral evidence on the nature and scale of modern slavery, the impact of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and how support for victims could be improved. We also provided evidence about how challenging it is for survivors who are detained either in prisons or detention centres to get the support they need. We explained that non-detained potential victims are approximately 40% more likely to enter the service than detained victims; and that for those who successfully enter the service, on average it can take 95.6 days between referrals and entry or three months since they were first identified as a victim of trafficking.
In other evidence of our influence, The Salvation Army:
- Supported survivors in the National Referral Mechanism to speak to Alex Norris MP.
- Met with MPs such as Carolyn Harris MP to talk about supporting victims of modern slavery in Wales.
- Spoke with civil servants from the Home Office and Stuart McDonald MP to talk about improvements to the reconsideration policy (a policy on how a decision on a survivor’s trafficking case can be reviewed by the Home Office).
- Contributed evidence to the Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act.
- Shared our knowledge on the links between modern slavery and homelessness at a Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and Home Office roundtable on modern slavery and homelessness.
- Hosted a meeting of Lord McColl of Dulwich with Commonwealth Parliamentarians at our International Headquarters to learn about the support we provide, alongside topics such as the Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act and the work of the National Crime Agency and UK Border staff to prevent modern slavery.
Looking Forward – Over the next year we will be asking the UK Government to ensure that:
- There are the local resources available to meet the needs of survivors across England and Wales, such as sufficient suitable mental health services.
- A survivor’s immigration status does not hinder their ability to get their lives back on track.
- Modern slavery training becomes a compulsory part of the induction process and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training for all frontline workers in government or statutory agencies. This should include NHS and prison staff, Home Office asylum screening staff, police and social workers.
Raising Public Awareness
2018 Anti-Slavery Day campaign – We launched, for the first time ever, a consumer engagement campaign with a retail element, titled, #WeAreNotForSale. Designed to drive conversation and awareness on social media, it was based on buying and sharing uniquely designed temporary tattoos. People show solidarity with victims by sharing photos of themselves on their social media channels wearing the tattoo. This campaign was extremely well received and reached a potential audience of just under 89.5 million people from 110 broadcast, press and online articles, including coverage on BBC national news, The Guardian, the Daily Mail and Sky News, as well as 19 local and national radio stations and three television news channels. We are repeating this campaign in 2019.
Raising Key Stakeholders Awareness
The Salvation Army continues to give regular presentations to officials in organisations in a position to impact positively on potential victims. These have included police forces, Adult Safeguarding Boards and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Department of Work and Pensions, and 20 sessions with Border Force officials. Involving our staff, subcontractors and clients, our contributions aim to increase understanding of the way in which a potential victim of modern slavery could be identified and how best to engage with them. The training also encourages awareness of the processes to refer someone into the specialist support we provide. Feedback acknowledged that these sessions were a highly positive addition to their training.
‘I just wanted to say a very big thank you to you for attending our training. The New Safeguarding Officers as well as myself and other trainers found it so interesting and it helps when a victim is prepared to speak as it makes it all the more real for the officers.’ – Border Force, South Region
Trafficking and slavery is an international problem that requires international solutions. The Salvation Army’s International Anti-Human Trafficking (AHT) Task Force leads our anti-human trafficking and modern slavery strategy, outlining how we will promote, deliver and co-ordinate a global response across the 131 countries in which we operate.
Our international response to prevent trafficking and modern slavery at source has been strengthened and extended through our joint working with our Salvation Army and other colleagues globally. Across our network of 131 countries in which we operate, we have been able to provide resources, expertise, skills and our knowledge of working with vulnerable and marginalised people and communities to further that support.
In 2018-9, The Salvation Army UK co-ordinated 12 international anti-trafficking and modern slavery projects, including:
- Nigeria and the Philippines: the Modern Slavery Innovation Fund Community Awareness and Recovery Project to prevent trafficking and re-integrate victims into their communities to reduce harm and stigma, and to develop innovative awareness-raising grass-roots campaigns. This programme has
- reached more than 30,000 people to help change attitudes and behaviours towards trafficking
- recruited, trained and supported 45 dedicated community champions
- provided recovery support services to 250 people rescued from trafficking (some returning from Western Europe, including the UK)
- Tanzania: victim support and recovery through a six-month residential programme, vocational training (eg literacy/cookery/numeracy) and family reunification support, building individuals’ resilience against re-trafficking.
- Bangladesh: we reduce victims’ vulnerability to exploitation by delivering skills training and alternative employment via ‘Others-Trade for Hope’, a social enterprise that produces and sells fair-trade handmade items.
We recommitted to another three years’ support to our project in Tanzania which has been supporting survivors of trafficking and running prevention programmes in the community for over six years. It provides young girls with a short-term residential recovery programme and comprehensive reintegration with their communities. This year a formal working arrangement and public recognition of this work was agreed with the Tanzanian Government.
Acknowledging that trafficking operates on the basic trade model of supply and demand, we joined this year with our colleagues across Europe in a Pan-European Awareness Campaign. Devised so that unified resources can be employed in both source and destination countries across Europe, the campaign is being rolled out on a country-by-country basis, targeting demand for cheap goods and labour in places like the UK and the lure of unsubstantiated job adverts in countries such as Russia, Ukraine and Poland, which have received financial support from the UK to enable them to take part in the campaign.
For more information on our international work to end slavery and trafficking, see our International Headquarters webnews here: https://www.salvationarmy.org/ihq/antitrafficking
As an employer, we do everything possible to avoid inadvertently engaging those who present themselves as looking for work but who are in fact ‘controlled’ by a third person. We follow safe recruitment practices ensuring that everyone who is offered a role with us, whether permanent or temporary, agency worker or contractor, has appropriate pre-employment checks. This includes appropriate references, and right to work and disclosure checks where appropriate.
The recruitment of staff is managed in house, enabling us to follow safe recruitment practices. Where it is necessary to engage an agency to secure workers for employment, the agency is from our preferred supplier list. Each agency on the list has been carefully selected using our terms and conditions and is required to conduct a rigorous recruitment process to minimise safeguarding risks.
We seek to treat all staff with dignity and respect, provide safe working conditions, act ethically and within the law. As specialists in modern slavery support for England and Wales, we will train our staff on how to identify the signs of slavery and human trafficking. We have clear steps on what action should be taken if slavery or human trafficking is suspected and how our staff can escalate potential slavery or human trafficking issues to the relevant parties within The Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army’s Procurement Unit has implemented a Supplier Prequalification and Assessment Framework for ethical, labour and environmental supplier compliance for use across the organisation. This covers a wide range of labour and health and safety areas and includes a specific section on compliance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015. This Assessment Framework is being used to assess both new and existing suppliers.
A Supplier Ethical Declaration – which specifically covers the Modern Slavery Act 2015 among other areas of ethical, environmental and employment law and best practice, aligned to the Ethical Trade Initiative Base Code and International Labour Organisation Standards – is referenced in the standard purchase terms and conditions of The Salvation Army. Compliance is a contractual requirement for all suppliers operating under the standard terms and conditions of The Salvation Army. In addition, all suppliers and contractors submitting tender responses for the provision of goods or services to the Procurement Unit have to confirm their agreement and acceptance of the terms and conditions and sign the ethical declaration. These same terms and conditions and ethical declaration are being rolled out to existing suppliers. In addition to covering suppliers’ own organisation, this declaration commits suppliers to push these standards down their own supply chains.
The Procurement Unit has spent the past year reviewing its current supply base, examining suppliers in those areas that represent the highest risk of modern slavery, namely: temporary labour, cleaning, catering, linen, branded goods and some building services. Resources from the US Labor Department and ITUC Human Rights Index have been used to identify the highest risk areas. Key Performance Indicators have been set for our 2019-20 financial year to ensure that all existing suppliers of agency labour, linen and branded goods have all have been through our Assessment Framework.
Due to the importance of training and education in the fight against modern slavery, the Procurement Unit has partnered with Stronger Together to deliver training on identifying potential victims of modern slavery for members of the Procurement Unit as well as facilitating Stronger Together to use The Salvation Army’s premises to provide training for other organisations. We have also presented our internal toolkit on the subject of modern slavery and our approach to assessing our supply chain to other members of Procurement from other charities and non-profit organisations, in order to raise awareness within the sector and upskill its procurement teams.
In the coming year we are committed to providing training and resources to our suppliers to increase their awareness of modern slavery and their understanding of the risks and potential signs, so this can be cascaded down the supply chain.
We recognise that there is more to be done and are actively examining further partnerships and digging deeper into risk areas to do all we can to fight modern slavery. The Salvation Army has a prominent role in seeking to alleviate modern slavery and/or human trafficking. SATCo recognises the need to continually review and tighten its checks and controls in this regard.
Published by Lieutenant Colonel Alan Read, Secretary for Business Administration of the Salvation Army United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland (UKI). For and on behalf of SATCO (Director) May 2018