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2024 big year of political change, and while balancing multiple priorities when you vote, you will be thinking about the type of country you want to live in.  

We call on you to stand alongside Sophie Hayes Foundation to demand a future free from slavery and exploitation. Join us in calling on policymakers to create a better system, rather than that which exploits by design, asserting our humanity as a nation to recognise that any individual can have their vulnerabilities exploited through online grooming, deliberate manipulation, or intersectional marginalisation and find themselves at the hands of traffickers. We are calling on businesses to ensure their practices and supply chains are free from exploitation and to reject goods and products created through slavery and suffering.  

If you believe in a future for the UK where there is no place for slavery and exploitation, stand with us in calling on your newly elected representatives to… 



Provide a working support system for survivors.  


  • The National Referral Mechanism, which identifies survivors and supports them out of exploitation, needs to provide services to which individuals are entitled, with survivors knowing their rights to access what they need in a stress-free & coherent way.  

  • The system must deliver to its intended standards and timelines – survivors of modern slavery wait 10 times longer than the 5-day target to receive an initial decision and in 2023 women waited on average 1038 days for a final decision, twice as long as the 524 days for men.  




Take a survivor-led approach that is not confused with culture war issues.

  • A survivor-led and human rights approach to this topic must be taken by policymakers, rather than an immigration and law enforcement approach which has been continuously ineffective and inhumane.  

  • A better understanding by politicians, citizens and the media, with public and political debate recognising the unique position of survivors who may have been trafficked into the UK illegally or been exploited as a UK national within their own community.  




Mainstream the topic of exploitation across all political approaches.  

  • Exploitation touches all parts of life and politics: the economy and workforce; health and care; crime and law enforcement; human rights; education and awareness. Recognising the scale and depth of the issue and taking an approach which considers exploitation from all these angles, rather than consigning it being solely a crime or migration issue is essential for addressing the challenges and supporting survivors with compassion. 




Recognise the necessity of lived and learned experience involvement in political and business decision-making.  

  • Ensure that policymakers and those delivering services prioritise learnings from survivors and those organisations who work with them.  

  • All government departments open to input from charities and other informed groups, with new legislation ready to adapt to consider its potential impact in exacerbating legislation. 




Assert the importance of the Right to Work and Volunteer.  

  • For survivors of slavery and trafficking to remain free from exploitation, they need their own financial and social independence, for this having the Right to Work in the UK, even while their asylum claims may be ongoing, is essential. 

  • Whilst working towards this ultimate goal, a Right to Volunteer which clearly enables survivors to take up voluntary work must be asserted, giving a pathway for survivors to work towards independence, renewed confidence, and a sense of purpose which are so vital for sustainable freedom and often cited by survivors as a significant part of recovery. 




Ensure that economic growth is exploitation-free. 

  • Approaches to address workforce shortages or deliver economic growth, must not function off the back of enslaved labour, and must truly account for the risks of creating new arenas for exploitation. 

  • Businesses must truly live the values in their modern slavery statements, having robust protocols to examine all areas of their supply chains, particularly in areas which disproportionately exploit women, including, care, fashion, and beauty.  

  • Businesses should be open to input from charities and other informed groups and consider the impact of business decisions on exploitation, with input from those with lived and learned experience.  

What Can I Do?  
Pledge Your Support

Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn – and pledge your support via social media. 

Find our downloadable Manifesto Pledge Graphic below and share it on social media with the hashtag #FreedomToThrive.


Share this manifesto with your local MP candidate, councillor or favourite local businesses, to encourage them to commit to prioritising this issue. 


A regular donation of £10 a month would cover the costs of one survivor progressing through our flagship Employability Programme, re-building their self-confidence, sense of community, and future independence. 

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