Hidden Voices at Bridgwater Library

Mayor Liz Leavy with Sian Owen from Hidden Voices at Bridgwater Library

Hidden Voices is a pressure group devoted to raising public awareness about the existence of modern slavery. This week they have an exhibition at Bridgwater Library from 15 to 22nd October which is freely available for the public to drop in and learn more about the campaign through the medium of art inspired by opposition to modern slavery. On Saturday 15 October , Mayor of Bridgwater Cllr Liz Leavy and a group of town councillors attended the launch. HV points to the existence of labour exploitation, the sex trade, child sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, forced marriage, organ harvesting and drug trafficking, specifically the ‘county lines’ variant whereby people from large cities are sent to smaller towns to sell drugs. A booklet produced by Hidden Voices claims ‘there are over 40 million people held in modern slavery around the world ‘ and is therefore a ‘global problem’. The booklet is available at the Library exhibition.

Hidden Voice exhibition shines a light into the nooks and crannies of modern slavery

Cllr Tim Mander (Westover) commented “Whilst delighted to attend the Hidden Voices exhibition  in Bridgwater Library it was an eye opener to hear first hand how much modern day slavery is in evidence locally and throughout the West Country. I would urge everyone to visit the library to look at the exhibition and pick up a leaflet and understand how you can read the signs of modern day slavery in action. Hidden Voices are a brilliant organisation ready to step in and help individuals and groups of people caught and an effectively imprisoned in the cycle of despair that is modern day slavery.”

Cllr Brian Smedley (Westover) said “Hidden Voices helps shine a spotlight into areas that need looking into so there’s nowhere modern slavers can hide to carry out their practices. And they rightly direct people to contact the Police and other support groups if they suspect criminality. They also rightly point to groups that are the easy victims of modern slavers -Asylum seekers, the homeless, people with mental health issues and, let’s face it, the poor. And the poor are an artificially created class to be exploited so that others can be wealthy.  These days of course exploitation is engrained in many systems around the world and not so hidden which means we can also fight back by uniting around political and workplace organisations, specifically Trades Unions, which are on the frontline of fighting labour exploitation which is of course a basic building block of capitalism, which we are continually and openly challenging politically

Gallery of Modern Slavery