Understanding the link between homelessness and modern slavery

Wednesday, 9 September 2020 - 9:10am

Crisis, the national charity for homeless people, and Hestia, the lead support provider of advocacy for victims of modern slavery, have developed a free training package which explores the links between homelessness and modern slavery. The training has been specifically designed for homelessness organisations and sex work charities, as part of Project TILI.

Project TILI is funded by Tampon Tax funding and seeks to develop a comprehensive scoping exercise to identify the issues faced by female victims of modern slavery in relation to homelessness. This project has been developed as a partnership between key charities working in the fields of domestic abuse, modern slavery, homelessness and housing. The delivery partners of the project are Crisis UK, Hestia (London), Bawso (Wales), Belfast & Lisburn Women’s Aid (Northern Ireland) and Shared Lives Plus UK.

Women who escape modern slavery are particularly vulnerable to re-exploitation by predatory individuals, who may offer accommodation, due to vulnerabilities including homelessness, destitution and learned behaviour. However, there is still limited understanding of the scale of modern slavery amongst the homeless population and understanding is even more limited with regard to female victims. Many homelessness charities still struggle to identify potential victims of modern slavery. We hope that by training homelessness charities, we will be able to increase identification rates of women who have been victims of modern slavery and enable them to escape life on the streets.

The training has now been developed for online delivery due to COVID-19, although face-to-face training will be available again in the future. ‘Understanding the link between homelessness and modern slavery’ is split into 2 half days, when delivered online. The course will enable frontline professionals to: 

·       Understand more about the scale and nature of modern slavery and its relationship with homelessness;

·       Identify when someone you are working with is experiencing or is at risk of modern slavery;

·       Understand statutory support available to victims of modern slavery and how to access support.

After completing the training, attendees will be provided with a certificate of completion and will gain access to multiple useful resources and links, including modern slavery and homelessness reports, videos, articles, training package, leaflets and more!

Organisations which receive training will also participate in data collection. Whenever a woman who is homeless and affected by modern slavery is identified by an organisation which received the training, her pseudonymised data will be input into a database that will help us to understand the links between female homelessness and modern slavery. We will provide regular reports of our findings to participating organisations and we will produce annual intelligence reports that will support local police forces in their efforts to combat modern slavery.

Since starting the training delivery, we have already learnt that professionals who have completed the training have improved their response in identifying vulnerable potential victims and some of these have already been referred to the appropriate statutory support, where they receive support.

If you are interested in participating in Project TILI and would like to coordinate free training for frontline staff within your organisation then please email tili.training@hestia.org or contact the Training Lead, Viktor Dubrava directly on 07825 182317.

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Viktor Dubrava

Training Lead

Viktor Dubrava is a Training Lead at Hestia.