By Alan Travis
Projects around the world to stop child slavery in factories making products being sold in Britain are to be funded by the first tranche of investments from the government’s new modern slavery innovation fund.
The home secretary, Amber Rudd, has announced that the first £6m from the £11m innovation fund is being awarded for projects run by organisations including the Salvation Army, the NSPCC and the Freedom Foundation.
The fund is being used to support work to identify and disrupt key human trafficking routes to Britain used by the organised crime gangs as well as tackling the use of child slave labour in places such as Vietnam, northern India and Nigeria.
The projects receiving funding include one run by Alliance HR to fight slavery in supply chains used by the South African fruit and wine industry by training and raising the awareness of employers. Another project will expand a successful supply chain assurance model used in the south Asian rug industry to other sectors.
Rudd announced the successful bidders during a speech in London at the Royal United Services Institute, a defence and security thinktank, in which she described modern slavery as a global human rights outrage that casts a dark shadow around the world.
“This barbaric crime affects every country and this funding will protect those who risk being trafficked to our shores or who suffer intolerable cruelty to make the products we buy,” said the home secretary.
“The UK is leading the international response, but we can’t do it alone – it is imperative the world unites and strives to end slavery together.”
The £11m innovation fund forms part of £33.5m of overseas aid funding set aside to support Britain’s leading role in tackling modern slavery. Theresa May announced last summer that she was chairing a modern slavery taskforcefocusing on the law enforcement response to the problem in Britain.
A further £8.5m is being spent on providing 50 additional analysts, specialists and investigators for the police in England and Wales.
The innovation funding is being financed from the government’s official development assistance fund and the initial £6m covers the period up to 2018-19. Further funding will be announced at a later date.
This article was published on The Guardian's website on March 15, 2017.