27 November 2019
Students in the Girls’ and Boys’ Divisions at Bolton School had important lessons on Modern Slavery from Old Girl Susan Banister (1982 to 1989). She returned to Bolton School on two occasions in the Autumn term, first addressing the whole of Year 10 from the Girls’ Division and then delivering her message to Boys’ Division Sixth Form students in Year 13.
Susan is a Modern Slavery consultant with Hope for Justice who has hands-on experience of rescuing victims of forced labour in the UK and over 25 years of experience working with businesses from start-ups to FTSE 100 companies. In her talks, she shared her understanding of the devastating effect that Modern Slavery has and how victims and businesses can find themselves exploited.
She introduced students to Hope for Justice, an organisation which exists in multiple locations across four continents and works to end Modern Slavery by preventing exploitation, rescuing victims, restoring lives and reforming society. She then asked what students already know about this crime by holding an informal quiz: amongst a host of other facts, students discovered that most victims in 2018 originated from the UK, 48% of Modern Slavery victims are under 18 years old, and the average price of a victim sold into slavery is just £60.
Susan also discussed the Modern Slavery Act 2016, talked about child slavery and human trafficking, including the difference between trafficking and smuggling, as well as signs and indicators of Modern Slavery. She described the key drivers of human trafficking and barriers that prevent victims from disclosing their situation. She also related a number of real-world cases, including talking about Hope for Justice’s involvement in the largest anti-trafficking case in Europe. Finally, Susan told students what they can do if they suspect Modern Slavery.
This was an informative and thought-provoking session for both groups of students who benefitted from Susan’s knowledge. Boys and girls alike left her talk with a greater understanding of Modern Slavery and how organisations like Hope for Justice are working to put an end to this crime.