Farm Work Welfare App – a new app to tackle modern slavery in rural areas

Every year, hundreds of migrant workers get placed in UK fields against their will and exploited by ruthless criminal gangs. It is hard to get exact numbers on the scale of rural slavery. However, we believe it is growing in line with the overall increase in modern slavery.

That’s why we have developed the Farm Work Welfare App (FWWA) – it is an easy to use app, designed to support both farmers and pickers and tackle labour abuse and modern slavery in the farming, horticulture and food production sector.

It provides farmers and pickers with the information they need to avoid criminal organisations and navigate the challenges of seasonal employment. It contains lots of practical information and signposting on existing protections such as the GLAA Licensing Scheme, document verification and the rights of workers such as freedom of movement and right to work.

For pickers, it aims to help them understand their rights and what to do if they are being exploited. It also has a report function to encourage members of the public who live or work in rural areas to be alert to the signs of exploitation that may be in plain sight. Any information gathered will be processed by the Modern Slavery Helpline and help identify hot spots, enable criminal investigations and most importantly, victim support.

Bishop Alastair Redfern, former Bishop of Derby and Chairman of The Clewer Initiative, explains: “Unfortunately, the normal pressures faced by the farming, horticulture and food production industries have been exacerbated by restrictions on movement due to the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit. It’s a perfect storm and that’s why we are so keen to raise awareness of this innovative new app.”

The app can be downloaded from Apple and Android app stores and is available in Albanian, Bulgarian, English, Lithuanian, Romanian, Polish, Chinese (Mandarin) and Vietnamese.

Our ambition is that it will help everyone in the sector know what ‘good’ looks like and will become a key source of information on the recruitment of seasonal workers, particularly post-Brexit.

App available now from Google Play! Coming soon to iOS App Store.

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