Is modern slavery a public health issue?
PHE ePoster Library. Such L. 09/12/17; 186620; 171
Liz Such
Liz Such
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Abstract
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Abstract IntroductionModern slavery - encompassing slavery, servitude, forced labour and human trafficking - is a complex and pernicious crime. The Modern Slavery Act 2015 has significantly raised the profile of this issue in public and policy arenas, and there is a need for greater clarity regarding its implications for public health. This research examined the ways in which modern slavery is a public health issue and how it has been addressed to date across various national contexts. The aim was to articulate if, how and why a public health approach can be beneficial. Method Rapid evidence assessment of literature combined with consultative discussions with key stakeholders and case study analysis to identify emergent, innovative public health practice.Results The review revealed the multifarious harmful public health effects of modern slavery. Survivors are at high risk of physical harm, psychological trauma, a range of communicable diseases and very poor access to health services. The assessment highlighted the insufficiency of a law enforcement approach for the protection and promotion of survivor health. There are examples of public health teams taking significant roles in local service partnerships in 'first responding', health professional awareness and training, and cross-agency working in prevention and victim identification.ConclusionModern slavery is a serious and hidden crime and a concern for public health. There is a case for public health engagement in survivor identification and protection. The case is also being made 'on the ground' through emergent practice and the development of new partnerships. External funding details Medical Research Council Proximity to Discovery
Abstract IntroductionModern slavery - encompassing slavery, servitude, forced labour and human trafficking - is a complex and pernicious crime. The Modern Slavery Act 2015 has significantly raised the profile of this issue in public and policy arenas, and there is a need for greater clarity regarding its implications for public health. This research examined the ways in which modern slavery is a public health issue and how it has been addressed to date across various national contexts. The aim was to articulate if, how and why a public health approach can be beneficial. Method Rapid evidence assessment of literature combined with consultative discussions with key stakeholders and case study analysis to identify emergent, innovative public health practice.Results The review revealed the multifarious harmful public health effects of modern slavery. Survivors are at high risk of physical harm, psychological trauma, a range of communicable diseases and very poor access to health services. The assessment highlighted the insufficiency of a law enforcement approach for the protection and promotion of survivor health. There are examples of public health teams taking significant roles in local service partnerships in 'first responding', health professional awareness and training, and cross-agency working in prevention and victim identification.ConclusionModern slavery is a serious and hidden crime and a concern for public health. There is a case for public health engagement in survivor identification and protection. The case is also being made 'on the ground' through emergent practice and the development of new partnerships. External funding details Medical Research Council Proximity to Discovery
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