Councillors in Bath and North East Somerset have voted to approve plans to tackle the scourge of modern slavery and female genital mutilation (FGM).
At a Full Council meeting last Thursday, 15th September, councillors debated two proposals put forward by Conservative councillors on the issues of FGM and modern slavery:
- The first commits the council to working towards the eradication of human trafficking and slavery – raising awareness of the issue, ensuring a multi-agency approach tackling the issue and supporting the work of The Anti-Slavery Partnership;
- The second motion commits the council to working with local schools and other partners to raise awareness of violence against women and girls, including FGM, and ensuring mandatory reporting by professionals if FGM is suspected or disclosed.
The two motions received all-party support, having been seconded by Lib Dem Councillor Lisa Brett.
Following the meeting, B&NES Council Leader Tim Warren (Cons), who tabled the motion on modern slavery, said:
“I’m very pleased that these proposals gained the support of councillors from across the Council. The Council has an important role to play in working with our partners to tackle the scourge of modern slavery and FGM.
“FGM and modern slavery can happen anywhere – they are not confined to any particular parts of the country – but they can be an almost invisible and unseen crime. So by raising awareness of these issues among our communities we hope that more people who may be affected by these issues might come forward to the authorities.”
Councillor Warren added:
“The proposals that were adopted by councillors therefore commit B&NES to supporting the Prime Minister’s wider efforts to eradicate modern slavery, and also to ensure a comprehensive, multi-agency approach to tackling FGM and raising awareness of the issue among women and girls in our area.”