Princess Eugenie has privately visited a safe house for people who have been exploited in modern-day slavery.
The princess, 26, who released a video on Tuesday to highlight the issue, met a British woman who had been a victim of sexual exploitation and an Indian woman who was used in slave labor in the U.K.
“It’s an area that [Princess Eugenie] feels particularly passionate about, and when she wanted to learn more about it she came to us,” says a spokesperson for the Salvation Army, which has the role of providing safe shelter and help for those who have suffered in slavery in Britain.
The organization – which has seen a rise in people being referred to them from 378 a year five years ago to around 1,400 from January to July of 2016 alone — took her to a safe house in London earlier this year.
The revelations came as she joined with the Salvation Army to appeal for ordinary people to feel empowered to spot the signs of modern slavery in their community or in the businesses or services they use as part of the #askthequestion campaign.
Eugenie says in the film, “I’ve had the chance to see firsthand what the Salvation Army can do for victims of trafficking and modern slavery. This year I went to visit a safehouse and I was completely astonished by the work that they do and by the survivors who have come out of modern slavery.
“I think it’s everyone’s opportunity and duty to #askthequestion and to support this campaign in any way possible to try to effect change and create massive awareness for the cause.”
Last week, Eugenie attended a service at Westminster Abbey in London to commemorate the work of William Wilberforce, who led the battle to abolish slave trade, and she laid a wreath of white lilies at his grave.
In an early hint of her involvement, the younger daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson made the point of visiting the Modern Slavery Garden at the opening of the Chelsea Flower Show in May, where #askthequestion was launched.
Anne Read, director of anti-trafficking and modern slavery at she Salvation Army said in a statement, “The people we support have been tricked, lied to, trapped, threatened, traded and abused. Frequently they arrive at a safe house with no belongings or documents, untreated health problems and injuries, often as a direct result of being trafficked, and are often extremely traumatized.
“We believe the public will want to help when they realise there are two very simple things they can do to make a change – the first is learning to recognize the signs that something might be modern slavery and reporting it.”