Face masks featuring a barcode to symbolise how modern slavery treats people as objects that can be bought and sold have been launched by The Salvation Army.

The charity is concerned that lockdown measures are making it harder for the public to spot and report signs of modern slavery.

It is hoped the new facemasks can remind the general public how widespread modern slavery is and how to report someone being exploited.

The masks have been supplied by Ayr-based promotional product and branded clothing specialist company Recognition Express.

Major Kathy Betteridge, The Salvation Army’s Director of Anti Trafficking and Modern Slavery said: “People are being exploited as slaves in villages, towns and cities across the UK but help won’t reach them unless people report their concerns. 

“We are worried as lockdown restrictions mean we are spending more time at home and there are fewer opportunities for suspicions to be raised. 

“Wearing one of our branded masks can help remind the public to be aware of the signs of modern slavery and how to report any concerns. It will also send a clear message of solidarity to those who have been abused through slavery. 

“To join the campaign and spread the word please wear your mask, take a selfie and share it online with #WeAreNotForSale on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and tag The Salvation Army UK. You can also add our #WeAreNotForSale20 frame to your Facebook profile picture.

“In today’s world, the public wear face masks to protect others, but victims of slavery have been ‘masked’ and silenced by those exploiting them for years.”

Ayr Advertiser:

Recognition Express in Ayr has been working with The Salvation Army since 2003, supplying promotional merchandise, staff ID badges and name badges.

Stephen Price, Director of the Crown Street-based business said: “We are proud to be involved with this campaign and it has been an enlightening project to work on. I have a far greater awareness of this very serious and worrying issue and hope that the striking imagery on the face masks encourages people to find out more about tackling modern slavery.”