Shiva Foundation – 2023 Roundup

“I believe that change is possible and that we must remain steadfast in our mission.”

Reflecting back on the year, we are so appreciative for the collaboration and engagement with the resources we created for the local government and business sectors to address modern slavery risks. The organisations we work with are exceptionally busy year-round, especially first responders, and we are grateful for their passion and continued commitment to address this issue.

The release of our licensing report, a Home Office-funded project, was a highlight for us. Licensing and enforcement officers nationwide have been enthusiastic about adopting our recommendations and, similarly, our Self-Assessment Scorecard and Guide has received continued engagement from local authority professionals looking to take steps to address modern slavery.

We’re also pleased to share that our modern slavery awareness training designed for Flow Learning – a training platform used widely across the hospitality sector – has been completed by an impressive 83,336 employees in 2023. An additional 8,528 have also completed the modern slavery awareness training for managers. Moreover, the recent launch of our business consultancy has enabled us to expand our engagement with businesses and drive forward the modern slavery agenda within the private sector.

As we approach 2024, we eagerly anticipate advancing ongoing projects, particularly two recently initiated research endeavours. One delves into understanding cultural competency in responses to modern slavery, funded by Modern Slavery PEC. The second, conducted in collaboration with Hertfordshire County Council and Hertfordshire PCC, aims to enhance understanding of the barriers faced by racially marginalized victims in accessing support services.

Outside of the modern slavery arena, I continue to work as a local councillor for Hertsmere Borough Council and am still engaging with sex worker communities in Delhi and Mumbai. I am also really enjoying working as an advisor to the Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commisioner’s office, where I advise on the areas of legitimacy and fairness within the criminal justice system as well as matters related to Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG). There is so much to be done and so far to go but working collaboratively with individuals and organisations that care really does have a positive impact on victims and their journeys.

The situations we come across in our work and the pain caused by conflicts around the world weigh down heavily on us but it then becomes even more important to focus on the things in our lives we are grateful for. And so I am thankful for our amazing team at Shiva Foundation and the many individuals and organisations we work with who are fighting for a better world – I believe that change is possible and that we must remain steadfast in our mission.

Wishing you a reflective and peaceful holiday season, and we eagerly anticipate continuing this crucial work together in the coming year.

Warm Regards,

Meenal Sachdev
Director and Founder, Shiva Foundation