Freedom Bus to drive awareness of modern slavery
To mark the UN’s International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, Liverpool will host the ‘freedom bus’ – a mobile exhibition driving awareness of Modern Slavery.
The double decker bus is branded with anti-slavery messages and promotes the national Modern Slavery Helpline which people can call to report any concerns they have about individuals who may be enslaved or trafficked.
The branded bus has been borrowed from the Pan-Lancashire Anti-Slavery Partnership with the aim of raising awareness in Merseyside by encouraging people to find out more about the issue and learn how to spot the warning signs.
The freedom bus will tour around Liverpool from 10.30am until 3.30pm on Sunday (13th December, 2020). Staff from Stop The Traffik, representatives from Merseyside’s Modern Slavery Network and Merseyside Police, will be on hand to answer questions, give advice and help people to become familiar with the tell-tale warning signs that someone is being enslaved.
The event is being supported by Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, who said: “Tens of thousands of vulnerable people are believed to be enslaved and trafficked in the UK every year, yet only a very small proportion of cases are brought to the attention of the police and other authorities.
“We need to change that. One way we can do that is by raising awareness of this issue among the public, so they know how to spot the warning signs, know how to report it when they believe someone may be enslaved and can play their part in stopping modern slavery.
“Our aim is to drive a greater understanding of this hidden issue and the freedom bus is a great tool to do this. By getting involved in this conversation, members of the public will be helping to bring this issue out into the open and could even have the awareness to help to save a life in the future.”
The Chair of Pan-Lancashire Anti-Slavery Partnership, Sion Hall said: "Modern Slavery is very much a hidden crime. The Freedom Bus is part of a wider strategy of raising awareness around the issues, spotting the signs and what to do if you suspect something.
"Working together we are aiming to help eliminate slavery and support victims. Come and visit us on Sunday 13th December if you can."
Annette Maudsley from Liverpool Stop the Traffik said: “We aim to raise awareness in our city and make it a hostile city for traffickers to work. Not only do we raise awareness to rescue survivors, and make communities aware of the signs, but we want to protect the people in our city from grooming and trafficking.
“We want men, women, boys and girls to know the signs of healthy relationships, online safety, travelling safely, and how to report.
“We focus on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery and this bus is an excellent way of reminding people of what is going on, how you can get help and where to report or ask questions. We are excited to work with so many partners on this project and we hope that people will be helped by having the bus come to our wonderful city.”
10:30 - Asda Aintree - drive down Rice Lane and County Road, through Kensington including stopping at Sheil Road
12:00 - Anglican Cathedral
12:25 - Leave Anglican Cathedral
12:30 - International Slavery Museum / Albert Dock
13:00 - Head to Cunard Building
13:15 - Leave Cunard Building
13:20 - Liverpool Town Hall
13:30 - Lord Mayor Cllr Anna Rothery talk, with the Young Lord Mayor to also attend
13:45 - Head to Liverpool Airport stopping at Sheil Road on the way, Edge Lane, Smithdown Road, Allerton Road, Mather Avenue
14:30 - Arrive at Liverpool Airport
15:00 - Leave Liverpool Airport
15:05 - Merseyside Police HQ in Canning Place