Police have asked port workers in Hampshire, UK, to be extra vigilant amid concerns that slavery is taken place aboard ships docked at its ports, according to the BBC.
Insp Dave Humphries of Hampshire Constabulary said: “The priority for the police in the first instance is to safeguard victims. However, we will seek to disrupt criminal activity associated with modern slavery and prosecute those responsible wherever possible.
“…there are crew members on some commercial ships that come into our ports being exploited and this may amount to offences under the Modern Slavery Act.
Jonathan Roberts of the UK Chamber of Shipping, said: “The shipping industry is highly regulated and conforms to high standards of sea-farer working rights, agreed through international conventions. We are aware however of a very small section of this global industry that does not conform to such high standards and the UK Chamber of Shipping supports efforts to abolish modern slavery in all its forms.”
Global shipping is responsible for the transportation of 90% of the world’s goods.
The shipping industry recently celebrated ‘Day of the Seafarer’, a campaign launched by the IMO, which recognises the hard work that global seafarers put into the industry.