The Clewer Initiative’s Safe Car Wash App, which allows drivers to respond to a check list of key factors that may suggest modern slavery or labour exploitation at hand car washes, has been downloaded 31,000 times since its launch in 2018.
Latest figures show 7,800 reports have been submitted using the app since the launch, with a third reaching a threshold of concern indicating potential labour exploitation.
The statistics have been released as a series of new features were announced to the app, including updated questions and content and an improved user interface so it is easier to submit a report.
Caroline Virgo, Director of The Clewer Initiative, said: “While many hand car wash businesses treat and pay their staff fairly, some are run by unscrupulous people, determined to make as much money as possible, regardless of how their workers are treated or whether they are following the law.
“It is therefore vital we educate consumers on the importance of choosing responsible car washes that look after their workers, protect the environment, care for their customers and trade legally. The Safe Car Wash app is good news because it will help pinpoint and eliminate businesses that are exploiting workers.
“The Safe Car Wash app is easy to use – it asks a series of questions related to signs of modern slavery and if it reaches a threshold that suggests workers are not being treated appropriately, it will invite the user to send a report through to the Modern Slavery Helpline for further investigation.
“We would urge car owners and drivers to download the new version of the app today and help us identify and shut down exploitative businesses.”
The app was launched in 2018 by The Clewer Initiative, the Church of England’s campaign against modern slavery, and the Santa Marta Group, the Catholic Church’s anti-slavery project, with support from anti-slavery campaigners and other key agencies, including the police and councils.
The Clewer Initiative press release can be read in full here.
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