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Learn about Modern Slavery at Portsmouth Libraries

15 November 2021

The Modern Slavery Partnership’s emotive and thought provoking exhibition ‘The Real Faces of Modern Slavery: Unmasking The Truth’ will be showing at Portsmouth Libraries from 16th November.

The exhibition is a journey through the compelling stories of survivors identified and supported within our surrounding area depicting their experiences, past and present, as well as their future aspirations as they start to rebuild their lives. The Exhibition includes information that sets out what slavery looks like today, the forms it takes and where it takes place.

The exhibition has been running at Westbury Museum in Fareham since 5th October. It will be moving to Portsmouth Libraries starting at Southsea Library on 16th November, then onto Cosham Library from 6th December – 17th December 2021, and the final stop will be Portsmouth Central Library from the 20th December – 10th January 2022.

1750 visitors to Westbury Museum have viewed the exhibition so far; some of their comments include:

“Seeing the numbers for Fareham makes me realise this is happening here, now.”

“It is disturbing that in this age, people are still being exploited. I will make an effort to be more aware of signs and help if I can.”

Exploitation types found within Hampshire include sexual exploitation of both adults and children, criminal exploitation including that within county lines and cannabis factories, labour exploitation such as that taking place in nail bars and car washes and financial exploitation in the form of benefit fraud.

Donna Jones, Police and Crime Commissioner and Chair of the Modern Slavery Partnership, said, “Modern day slaves look just like me or you. It’s not all about people being trafficked in from other countries. They could be a sex worker being exploited by a criminal gang, they could be a drugs mule running county lines to move drugs around the country.

“This exhibition really makes you stop and think about what modern day slavery is and realise that it could be happening in your community. If more people recognise it and report it, then we can crack down and stop modern day slavery.”

Cllr Chris Attwell, Cabinet Member for Communities and Central Services at Portsmouth City Council, said: “It is everyone’s responsibility to look out for slavery and report any suspicions or incidents – working together, it can be stopped. Everyone deserves to be treated fairly and with dignity. The compelling stories of survivors of modern slavery right here in Hampshire will no doubt give pause for thought and reflection. We are pleased we’ve been able to support this exhibition through libraries to spread the word of this important issue to make our communities safer and more inclusive.”

If you would like further information, then please visit www.modernslaverypartnership.org.uk

If you come across a situation where someone is in immediate danger, then please call the Police on 999 or for non-emergencies 101.  Together we can look to tackle this crime and bring support to those being exploited.

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