On Friday (December 11th) a Nottingham couple were found guilty of modern slavery after imprisoning a young woman with learning disabilities for five months.
This shocking case of abuse highlights the rising concern that people with learning disabilities are at significant risk if agencies are not vigilant in their safeguarding approach.
At the Ann Craft Trust (ACT) we believe that the modern slavery of people with learning disabilities is a statistically hidden form of abuse with parallels to disability hate crime and financial abuse.
Deborah Kitson, ACT CEO, said “This is the second high profile case in as many years. People with learning disabilities are at significant risk of modern slavery as they can often be isolated within communities, not deemed eligible for support services or simply overlooked due to not being viewed as a high profile concern.”
Ms Kitson adds “when the Care Act was first published the inclusion of modern slavery was questioned with people asking if it was a relevant concern. The case in Nottingham, following on from Sheffield last year, highlights the need for agencies and professionals to develop policies and awareness around this violent and horrific form of exploitation.”
ACT strongly calls for more research, training and work to be completed around modern slavery to ensure that people with learning disabilities are protected. The case in Nottingham highlights a growing concern amongst professionals that modern slavery is potentially under reported and hidden within communities and from safeguarding organisations.
At ACT we believe that everyone deserves the same rights, to be safe and have their voices heard. Modern slavery is an abhorrent practice that takes advantage of people with learning disabilities creating a long lasting and damaging impact on the victim.