The CEO of Medaille Trust, Garry Smith and Director of Police and Justice Operations, Marcus Dawson have joined anti-slavery professionals in Lithuania to discuss strategies to combat modern slavery.
The conference bringing together members of various agencies, is being held this week by The Salvation Army in Lithuania. It seeks to raise awareness of modern slavery, how to support survivors and how to pursue justice.
Lithuania is a source, transit and destination country for victims of modern slavery who are often subjected to labour and sexual exploitation. The UK is one of the top destination countries for Lithuanian nationals. Earlier this year two members of an organised crime group were jailed for nine years after being found guilty of trafficking and exploiting Lithuanians in Corby. Their victims were promised a better life and the offer of work but once they got to the UK, they were housed in one of several multi-occupancy homes which were being sublet by their exploiters. They were then placed into debt and threatened with violence, being made homeless, losing their jobs and deportation. Their wages were taken and their bank cards were controlled and used fraudulently to gain credit against their names.
Marcus Dawson told the conference about Medaille Trust’s work in supporting police operations and helping victims seek justice through the charity’s Victims Voices Project.
Garry Smith spoke about definitions of modern slavery, the situation globally and the current situation in Lithuania and the experience of Lithuanian victims in the UK.
Commenting on the conference Garry said: “It was a privilege to visit this beautiful country and to work alongside other professionals who are engaged in the fight against modern slavery and to upskill local professionals who may encounter victims of modern slavery in their work. We hope in sharing our knowledge and experience it has helped build confidence in how to combat modern slavery in Lithuania.”