A photography exhibition, entitled #ArtIsFreedom, has highlighted the realities faced by survivors of modern slavery in London.

The exhibition took over London Bridge station to mark Anti-Slavery Day, which takes place annually on 18th October.

All photographs exhibited at #ArtIsFreedom were captured by survivors of modern slavery currently living in the capital and being supported by Hestia’s Modern Slavery Response team.

Survivors in Hestia’s service were given the opportunity to attend workshops, hosted by professional photographer Mark Dearlove, in order to refine their photography composition skills. The exhibition provided a platform for survivors to share their recovery journeys and express what life in London means to them.

Thousands of commuters were able to stop by the exhibition and learn more about modern slavery, with ‘Spot The Signs’ toolkits, highlighting the signs of this often hidden crime, distributed in order to raise crucial awareness.

Research by Opinium, commissioned by Hestia, indicates that only 1 in 4 adults in the UK feel comfortable in spotting the signs of modern slavery.

The ‘Spot The Signs’ toolkit is available to download online.

More new research released to highlight Anti-Slavery Day further detailed the plight of modern slavery victims in London. Shocking figures have highlighted that almost 1 in 10 rough sleepers in the capital are actually victims of this brutal crime, and face higher risk of re-exploitation as a result.

The research was uncovered through Hestia’s Underground Lives report series, with recommendations calling for Local Authorities to join forces with faith organisations and homelessness charities to better identify victims, and ultimately enable them to access safe accommodation and support.

The findings from Hestia’s ‘Underground Lives: Homelessness and Modern Slavery in London’ report can be read online.


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