Local links to the abolition of slavery

  • Written by Sabrina Meadows
  • Published on 21 August 2018
  • Our Voice

1stAugust marked Emancipation Day – a holiday to mark the end of slavery in the British Empire. I’ve taken a look at the events in our local area to commemorate the ending of the slave trade.

Rothley Court Hotel emancipation dayView larger
Credit: Rothley Court Hotel (Facebook)

Local celebration of abolitionists

Residents in our local area of Charnwood were reminded by Rothley Court Hotel of the monument on their grounds which records the work of two successful abolition campaigners: William Wilberforce and Thomas Babington. In the lead up to the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act in 1807, the men would meet regularly at the pub – previously the Rothley Temple. 

Thomas Babington was the eldest son of Thomas Babington of Rothley Temple, from whom he inherited Rothley and other land in Leicestershire in 1776. He was educated at Rugby School and St John College in Cambridge where he met William Wilberforce – the MP who would bring the Bill to abolish the slave trade to Parliament. Together they spent their lives fighting to end slavery both in the UK and Abroad, eventually leading up to the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act in 1807.

Slavery close to home

Fast forward to 2018 and sadly despite all the hard work of people in the past, slavery still exists and its closer to home than we think. When we think of slavery we often conjure up images of deprived countries hundreds of miles from here, decades ago, but in reality, that simply isn’t the case, it’s happening today, right here in the UK. 

In November last year a police raid of a traveller site in Market Harborough and two in Northamptonshire resulted in four arrests following suspicion of offences committed under the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

In October 2017, Kazmer Kolompar was charged under the Modern Slavery Act after he lured two Hungarian men to UK with the promise of work. He told them they would earn four times as much as they would staying in their native country. Instead, he kept them in poor standards of accommodation, gave them little food and did not pay them for their labours – beating them when they challenged him. That same month in Loughborough, a local man was charged under The Modern Slavery Act in relation to holding a person in slavery and servitude.

These are just a few of the local stories, unfortunately it has been reported that they are tens of thousands of slaves in the UK alone! 

This story of Thomas Babington and William Wilberforce has resonated with Segura due to us being based locally but also due to the nature of our business.

Tackling modern slavery

Segura is a platform which enables businesses to have full visibility and control over the entire supply chain. This means they can ensure that all of the suppliers in their chain are ethical and complying with the Modern Slavery Act and other legislation protecting workers. 

Earlier this year Segura partnered with a charity called Unseen who help survivors rebuild their lives once they have escaped slavery.

If you would like to hear how Segura can help your organisation with supply chain transparency please get in touch.

All of us need to learn to spot the signs of modern slavery, it could be your neighbour you see every day, or the friendly man at the local car wash. If you suspect anything please call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 121 700. 

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