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Six-month study of Leicester’s garment sector reveals case of Modern Slavery

Human rights are a huge part of making sure nations are working towards SDG 16. De Montfort University is one of the leading academic centres for research into modern slavery. It is estimated that 40.3 million people worldwide are victims of modern slavery, and at least 13,000 of those victims are in Britain. Leicester is thought to have one of the worst problems in Britain, according to a recent survey of experts. It is also an increasing problem with an estimated 25% year-on-year increase in the number of potential victims identified since 2009, according to International Organization report in 2016. 

A six-month study of Leicester’s garment sector showed workers earned around £3 per hour, receiving wages ‘cash in hand’, and not being given an employment contract. This is just one example of many across Britain. This work is one of the major projects identified by DMU towards its work on SDG 16. 

DMU has also joined with partner organisations, including the police, local authorities and charities, in forming the Leicester and Leicestershire Modern Slavery Action Group to help combat the problem. The group aims to increase awareness of the issue and, through a variety of programmes, reduce the problem locally. DMU has also teamed up with the national British charity Unseen to promote its hotline that aims to get victims of modern slavery to come forward to stop their exploitation. The helpline (08000 121 700) has been relaunched in Leicester with a media campaign, followed by leaflets, posters, business cards, key fobs and pens being distributed throughout the city. 

Learn more about the project here.

Latest update: 02.11.2023