In the UK there are over 2.25 million unemployed people.
The government has introduced a scheme whereby unemployed people must go on 'work placements' with participating voluntary bodies.
They do this for no extra money and if they fail to attend can be hit with 'benefits sanctions' which can mean a withdrawal of Jobseekers' Allowance for up to six months.
This is degrading, de-humanising and very close to legal slave labour.
The vast majority of unemployed people are busy looking hard for employment in an economy where full-time jobs are incredibly scarce.
The Salvation Army is a Christian charity which is continuing to use people placed against their will onto the scheme which is known in the common vernacular as "workfare" (though we acknowledge that the title is not used in any official capacity) and we believe that this is unacceptable on both moral and spiritual grounds.
This is a HUMAN RIGHTS issue.Forced labour is just that, FORCED and therefore basic human rights of choice are being taken away.
- Territorial Commander for The Salvation Army in the UK with the Republic of Ireland.
We the undersigned call on the Salvation Army to withdraw from the government "workfare" style Mandatory Work Activity Placement scheme.
We believe it is immoral and very close to slavery by coercing the unemployed to do work for no extra money under the threat of loss of benefits should they fail to complete their placement.
We wish to see the Salvation Army return to its place of high standing in the community by refusing to use forced labour and standing against the exploitation of the most vulnerable in our society.
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