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CSJ report outlines a new vision in Europe to tackle modern slavery

The Centre for Social Justice has published its second report on Modern Slavery, written by Fiona Cunningham, a former adviser to the Home Secretary, Theresa May.

A Modern Response to Modern Slavery’ - a Europe-wide report - looks at how Organised Crime Groups (OCGs) move men, women and children across EU borders and into enslavement.

The report argues that a concerted pan-European drive by national governments and law enforcement is urgently needed to disrupt and defeat the gangs of international criminals making multi-million pound profits from trafficking human beings into a life of slavery.

It warns that the pace of progress in the fight against modern slavery across the EU has been too slow, and that far more needs to be done by law enforcement across Europe.

The report spells out the scale and cruelty of modern slavery in which tens of thousands of vulnerable men, women and children, are traded across borders.

Its 40 recommendations centre on building greater international coordination and include a call for every EU state to bring forward a Modern Slavery Act.

The report also reveals the case of housing built in Slovakia, unwittingly funded by the UK taxpayer. Slovakians refer to the houses as ‘smarties’ because they are painted in bright colours. They are built on the proceeds of benefit fraud orchestrated by an OCG network which duped families looking for work into travelling to the UK by coach. On arrival, the traffickers seized their documents, forced them to claim benefits then kept the money.

The report was covered on the Today Programme and BBC Breakfast, and Fiona Cunningham also appeared on the Victoria Derbyshire show on BBC 2 in coverage of the report.

It received a front page mention in the Daily Mail, as well as several other stories in the paper. It also appeared on the BBC News website, The Times and the Daily Express.

Fiona Cunningham also wrote an editorial on the report in The Yorkshire Post

CSJ director launches book on poverty and disadvantage

March saw the launch of 'This is how we live', a short book written by CSJ director, Christian Guy.

Last year, Christian travelled across the UK to visit members of the CSJ Alliance, a network of 350 remarkable grassroots charities working every day to tackle poverty in their communities. Through them he was able to spend time with those whose lives have been characterised by disadvantage, neglect and vulnerability.

'This is how we live' tells the stories of 12 such people living on the margins of British society. As well as seeing first-hand the impact of poverty in this parallel Britain, Christian aimed to draw out the unexpected hope to be found through the astonishing power of the people working every day to help others turn their lives around.

CSJ in the news

CSJ research about Harrogate, a marginal constituency in the upcoming General Election, featured in the Today Programme on Radio 4. Within Harrogate there are two neighbourhoods that sit side by side but are at opposite ends of the poverty spectrum.

One neighbourhood ranks in the highest decile in the country while on the other side of a railway track, the neighbourhood next to it ranks in the lowest decile in the country according to a poverty index.

Senior researcher Rupert Oldham-Reid appeared on BBC Radio Lancashire and BBC Radio Sussex to discuss the growing problem of so-called 'legal highs'.

Deputy Policy Director Ed Boyd appeared on BBC WM, the BBC local radio service for the West Midlands, to discuss probation reforms.

As the election fast approaches see the CSJ's impact on the major political parties, including in their manifestos, on our Election Watch page. 

We will be back with more CSJ news after the election.