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University hosts National Crime Agency exhibition on modern slavery

An exhibition from the National Crime Agency focusing on modern slavery – Invisible People – is being hosted by the University of Hull on Thursday 21 and Friday 22 October this week.

University staff, students and members of the public are invited to attend and see the poignant images of modern slavery.

The National Crime Agency teamed up with photographer Rory Carnegie to produce powerful images in the exhibition which demonstrate the realities of modern slavery, with the aim of getting the public talking about this issue. It highlights to the viewer that victims of exploitation are all around us; many right before our eyes and yet we never really see them.

The exhibition is being supported by the Wilberforce Institute, the Humber Modern Slavery Partnership and the Hull University Anti-Slavery Society and is available to view in the University’s Brynmor Jones Library from 10am to 3pm on both days.

The aim of the exhibition is to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of modern slavery and ask visitors to consider the following:

  • Report any suspicion to the police or the Modern Slavery Helpline: 08000 121 700
  • Make informed consumer choices – and bear in mind that if goods or services appear unreasonably cheap, it may be because someone is being exploited.

Trevor Burnard, Director of the Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation at the University of Hull, said: “The Wilberforce Institute, a research centre devoted to combatting modern slavery, is pleased to support the Invisible People exhibition, which highlights difficult matters people often tend to avoid. It is highly appropriate that this exhibition marks anti-slavery day, through forcefully conveying the realities of modern slavery.”

Robert Richardson, Head of Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Unit at the National Crime Agency, said: “We are glad to be working with the University of Hull’s Wilberforce Institute, the Humber Modern Slavery Partnership and the Hull Anti-Slavery Society to spread awareness and educate the public about the signs of modern slavery and urge people to report any suspicion.

“The NCA launched the original award-winning Invisible People exhibition in January 2018, and it has since then been displayed in multiple cities all over the UK. The mobile Invisible People exhibition which is being displayed at the University from 21-22 October, to mark Anti-Slavery Day, aims to give the public the tools to help them spot modern slavery in our community.

“It is important that the exhibition reaches different communities and regions within the UK so the public can support us in the fight against this heinous crime.”

Robert Richardson, Head of Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking at the NCA, was interviewed as part of the University’s mini series of podcasts to mark Refugee Week 2021. In this episode, Professor Robert Dover chats to Robert Richardson and offers a rare opportunity to hear a serving and senior member of the NCA discussing their role tackling modern slavery and human trafficking.

The discussion explores the role of the NCA in supporting victims, what drives this area of criminality, the extent to which victims understand themselves as victims, why it’s so difficult to prosecute in this area, and what all of us can do to avoid inadvertently fuelling this set of exploitative and unpleasant crimes.

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