Centering Survivors' Voices : Exploring Gaps and Solutions
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September 7, 2022 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm BST

Centering Survivors’ Voices : Exploring Gaps and Solutions

“In 2021, the UK BME Anti-Slavery Network (BASNET) which is a project of AFRUCA Safeguarding Children launched the first Race Equality Diversity and Inclusion action plan for the UK Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking sector. The Action plan raised numerous issues surrounding the experiences of survivors and the importance of centering their voices and lived experiences in our overall approach within the sector.

In recent times, through our work with AFRUCA and BASNET members, we recognise that many survivors have been shut out of their support/treatment/care plans due to the power dynamics between clients and service providers. Survivors in most cases are left at the mercy of case workers, service managers who take vital decisions on their behalf as they are not involved in their support/care plan. Although the 2014 Care Act and the Human Trafficking Foundation’s Slavery and Trafficking Survivor Care Standards place emphasis on person centered care for vulnerable individuals as well as a clear involvement in the production of a survivor care plan, neglect of the views and inputs from affected individuals based on their lived experiences is commonplace.

This power dynamic posed by first respondents, case workers, support worker, officers in shelters and designated charities and agencies to some extent has not helped empower victims and survivors of modern slavery and human trafficking. The lack of cultural awareness has played a massive role in the engagement and inclusion of victims/survivors in their support and treatment plan. Cultural incompetence fails to acknowledge the diversity in cultures. A system that is built on a singular cultural knowledge and understanding cannot do right by the survivors/victims from differing backgrounds.

Scope and Purpose

This event marks the one (1) year anniversary of the BASNET Race Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan. It is a follow up specifically to theme four of the Action Plan – Identification and Service Provision for Survivors. The BASNET Survivor Panel will be leading a conversation with CEOs, Senior Managers and other professionals working in the anti-trafficking/modern slavery field to explore the issues of cultural competence, survivor engagement, policy making, service design and delivery as well as racial discrimination. The aim is to help change the narratives around modern slavery and create a conversation around the power dynamics between survivors and CEOs, Senior Managers and professionals working in the anti-trafficking movement. The event will create awareness on why it is important for the CEOs, senior managers and professionals to be culturally knowledgeable/aware of the diversity in cultures.”

Event Moderator: Ruth Aguele, Survivor, Consultant and Member of BASNET’s Survivor Panel

CEO Panel:

Patricia Durr – CEO of ECPAT UK

Red Godfrey- Sagoo, CEO of Sophie Hayes Foundation

Robin Brierley – Executive Director of West Midlands Anti-Slavery Network

Debbie Ariyo OBE – CEO of AFRUCA – Safeguarding Children and Founder of BASNET

Survivor Panel:

Nancy Esiovwa – Survivor Advocate

Lola Hlupekile Zalira, Survivor, Modern Slavery Project Assistant, AFRUCA

Peter Murigi, Survivor


September 7, 2022 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm BST




UK BME Anti-Slavery Network – BASNET