"It is very positive to see the BBC taking on the crucial task of exposing modern slavery and creating awareness about this pressing issue. We are pleased that the material we provided contributed to their in-depth research. We remain available to provide guidance and insights on this urgent matter that we have been tirelessly working to bring to public attention,” said Gordon Balmer, Executive Director of the Car Wash Association (CWA) on the BBC’s File on 4 programme that investigated into modern slavery on hand car washes, an issue about which our association has been actively lobbying the Government.

Gordon Balmer continued:

“The investigation featured testimonials from many individuals who came to the UK with the promise of fair wages but were instead subjected to salaries below the minimum wage, abuse, violence, and excessively long working hours. It highlights the urgency to address this issue, as modern slavery should have no place in our society.

The investigation also highlighted a lack of interest from the Government in addressing the issue. We have consistently urged the government to prioritise the establishment of a Single Enforcement Body (SEB) and the enforcement of a National Licensing Scheme based on the Responsible Car Wash Scheme (RCWS) Code of Practice. These vital measures are essential in creating a fair and regulated environment within the car wash industry.

We are deeply concerned about the persisting presence of non-compliant hand car washes that operate illegally, disregarding health and safety. Eliminating modern slavery must be an urgent political and moral priority for the Government. The Car Wash Association will continue advocating for the rights of victims and lobbying the Government until decisive action is taken to solve this issue.”

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Find BBC’s episode ‘Modern Slavery in the Care Sector’ at CWA in the Media, available here

About Car Wash Association

The Car Wash Association was originally established in 2007 by wash operators and industry suppliers and is now officially incorporated as part of the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI).