What can we do to prevent modern slavery in salons?
The news that 39 people died last week while being illegally trafficked into the UK has put the horrific effects of modern slavery back in the spotlight.
We as an industry are all too aware that many people trafficked into the UK end up working illegally in nail bars, trapped into modern slavery. This needs to stop.
Although it is unconfirmed that any of those who perished last were destined for work in salons, modern slavery is a nationwide problem in our industry.
Over the years, most of us will have thought “what could I possibly do to tackle such a huge issue?” but lack of action has cost lives. Not doing anything encourages yet more to take these perilous journeys.
At an industry level, the problem has meant that reputable salons can’t compete on price, and exit nails. Over time, this creates a gap that could ultimately make the problem worse.
Many are lobbying for mandatory licensing, which is an excellent end goal, but results will take time. In December, the Government decided not to immediately implement a recommendation from the Labour Market Strategy to tackle modern slavery in salons but instead began further investigations, which are ongoing.
So, what can we as an industry do right now to address the issue?
Professional Beauty (PB) is planning to launch an awareness campaign and we need your support, starting with your feedback.
One simple idea is that PB can provide, free of charge, a series of posters for salon owners and qualified professionals to help spread a message; for example, “Make sure you always visit a team that’s properly qualified”.
Can you suggest a phrase that can get the message across? Have you got any other ideas that can be put into practice now? Let us know via our feedback form here.
PB will also be reaching out to all interested parties in the beauty sector to help promote legitimate businesses – the nail brands, as well as the industry bodies such as Habia, VTCT, Babtac and HBC, and the charities that have been working with Government on this issue.
It’s time to show your support for ending modern slavery in salons. Sign up here to support our campaign.