Charity develops slavery reporting app

App is designed to help identify signs of modern slavery and enable concerned users to quickly contact helpline more easily.

James Hayes | 6th Aug 18
Image shows person in shackles. Charity Unseen's new app is designed to help identify signs of modern slavery and enable concerned users to quickly contact helpline more easily.

Anti-slavery charity Unseen has launched an app designed to to make reporting to the its Modern Slavery Helpline easier for smartphone users.

The free Unseen App provides a guide to recognising the signs of modern slavery and reporting concerns in confidence. The software was developed for Unseen by its founding partner communications products and services provider, provider BT, and can be found by searching ‘Unseen UK’ in app stores now.

The app includes a contact form and telephone number to report suspicions or get support. It also includes advice on the signs of slavery to look for including: physical appearance, psychological, isolation, poor living conditions and restricted freedom.

“The National Crime Agency estimates that there are tens of thousands of people being held in modern slavery in the UK, trapped in situations such as forced labour, domestic servitude or sex exploitation. In reality, the number could be far higher,” said Andrew Wallis, CEO at Unseen. “Traffickers are using ever-more sophisticated technology to control and exploit their victims [so] it is crucial that those of us combating modern slavery must innovate too.”

Wallis added: “Whether that is technology for businesses to map their supply chains, or an app for everyone to have in their pocket at the nail bar, car wash or takeaway, this isn’t just a gimmick, it’s an essential part of the fight to eradicate slavery. We know that apps work in the fight against slavery.”

“We know increased awareness and action from the public is critical to turning the tide on modern slavery,” said Eric Anderson, Head of the Modern Slavery Programme at BT. “The Unseen App makes it easier than ever to help people spot the signs and report concerns, because it’s there in your pocket when you need it. “If just one victim of modern slavery uses our app – or gets help because someone else has used it – then every single moment of our time spent developing it has been worth it.”

The Unseen app is available for Android, iOS and Windows App Stores in the UK.