A government scheme to tackle labor abuses and modern slavery at Britain’s hand car washes was announced today, following concerns that Eastern European workers are being exploited and enslaved at thousands of unregulated sites across the country.
The Responsible Car Wash Scheme will recognise businesses that operate legally, hire and treat their employees fairly, and protect the environment, according to police, industry players and government agencies which together developed the initiative.
Thousands of workers in Britain’s car washes are estimated to be slaves – mostly men lured from Eastern Europe then trapped in debt bondage, forced to work in unsafe conditions, stripped of their documents and subjected to threats, abuse and violence.
Consumers can be reassured that sites displaying the logo protect the environment and deal with pollution appropriately and operates safe and ethical conditions for its workers.
The scheme comes after the UK Modern Slavery Helpline received more than 10,000 reports of slavery in its two years of operation.
Last year, it received 493 reports of potential cases of labour exploitation in car washes across the UK, with 2,170 potential victims.
Reporting Modern Slavery
The Modern Slavery Helpline – 08000 121 700
The Helpline provides 24/7 specialist support across the UK to victims and to those
who want to report a suspicion of modern slavery or seek advice. The information
gathered from calls provides valuable intelligence on the nature and scale
of modern slavery in the UK, which is used to create strategies with which to tackle it.
New Unseen App
Unseen has recently launched a new app, which allows you to spot the signs of Modern Slavery, and report it to the Modern Slavery Helpline all in the one place on your mobile device.