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Recruitment Firms Joins Anti-Trafficking Campaigners to Combat the Rising Tide of Modern Slavery in Scotland

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Leading industrial recruitment agency Brightwork has joined forces with a number of other anti-trafficking organisations to bring a highly-acclaimed production about the tragedy of modern slavery to Glasgow in October.

The event features My Mind Is Free by Sam Hall, an hour-long play that tells the interlinked stories of four people trafficked to and within the UK and their horrifying tales of abuse, exploitation and enslavement. It will then be followed by a 90-minute workshop on how to spot the signs of trafficking, and what can be done by both individuals and companies to combat it.

The Glasgow event is open to the public, and will be particularly useful for those working with vulnerable adults and children. It takes place on October 22 at The Salvation Army Glasgow City Centre Corps.

The production has been put together by the charity Rah Rah Community Theatre Company. The UK tour and information events have been organised in conjunction with the anti-trafficking charity Migrant Help and The Salvation Army.

According to figures from the Scottish Government, 150 people across the country were identified as potential victims of human trafficking in 2016. That number jumped to 207 in 2017, and increased again in 2018 to 228.

“I feel knowledge is the first step in beginning to tackle this horrible crime,” said Jude Spooner, co-founder and managing director of the Rah Rah Community Theatre Company. “With the play we hope to raise awareness and promote social change so that individuals know what slavery looks like, where it happens and what to do about it.”

The company first toured the production in 2015, receiving 4- and 5star reviews. It was nominated for “Best Stage Play” in the Human Trafficking Foundation’s Anti-Slavery Media Awards in 2016, which was hosted by the Home Secretary at the House of Commons.

The show then appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2017, again receiving 4- and 5-star reviews, and was nominated for the Amnesty Edinburgh Festival: Freedom of Expression Award 2017.

Based in Glasgow and Edinburgh, Brightwork is an active participant in the anti-trafficking movement. The recruitment agency currently works with Migrant Help to assist victims rescued from human trafficking in finding genuine employment.

Other partnerships to combat modern slavery include the multi-stakeholder initiative Stronger Together, and the Glasgow-based Bridges Programme. Earlier this year, Brightwork also started the group Scotland Against Modern Slavery, which aims to raises awareness of this brutal criminality within the business community.

“Our experience in the recruitment sector has given us unique insight into the tell-tale signs of slave labour,” Brightwork director Shan Saba said.

“The uncomfortable reality is that men, women and children both here at home and around the world are today being bought and sold. The figures show that rather than being consigned to the past, this brutal trade is actually on the rise.

“We have created our own systems and software to protect both employers and workers from inadvertently falling into the chain of modern slavery, but from a moral standpoint, that’s not enough. By getting involved in programmes like the My Mind Is Free tour, we are aiming to help create a slave-free world.”

The Scottish leg of the My Mind Is Free tour has received funding from the Scottish Government, the Souter Charitable Trust, ACTS (Action of Churches Together in Scotland), and Foundation Scotland.