Council backs charter to say slavery has no place to hide This is paper..
West Lothian Council has backed a strategy designed to ensure that modern slavery practices“have no place to hide”.
Bathgate councillor John McGinty won approval for his motion from the full council when he urged that the authority adopts a charter drawn up by the Co-operative Party to tackle what is recognised as a growing problem across the UK.
It comes just weeks after four men were convicted of a variety of offences including people smuggling in which men were brought into the country from Latvia and housed in West Lothian.
Victims believed they would be offered employment in a warehouse in Bathgate where one of those convicted worked.
Some victims were forced to surrender their wages to the group, others were forced under duress to open bank accounts which were then used for money laundering and fraud by the crime group.
The new charter calls for council staff, especially procurement staff, to be trained to spot evidence of modern slavery practices by looking for clues like abnormally low-cost tenders for works.
It also urges councils to ensure that any firms contracted to work for them are not using labour under duress.
The charter requires a commitment from councils that they will work with police and national law enforcement agencies where they believe they discover evidence of modern slavery.