Anti-Slavery Day has been created by Act of Parliament to raise awareness of modern slavery and to inspire people to eliminate it.
Modern slavery or Human Trafficking is defined as: The movement of a person from one place to another into conditions of exploitation, using deception, coercion, the abuse of power or the abuse of someone’s vulnerability, even if consent had been given to be moved. Despite thinking this is a problem in other countries or big cities, it is a major issue that affects us all and the victims are in their tens of
So, who are the victims? Women, men, young people, children. They can be from any country including our own. Individuals are used for cheap labour, as drug mules, for sexual exploitation and other uses for the attainment of profit. The list is endless. Two centuries ago, the average slave could generate, we are told by experts, a 15% to 20% annual return on investment for their exploiters. Today the return is several hundred % per year and for sexual exploitation 900% per year.
We are also victims in different ways, sometimes without even knowing about it. Drugs on the street, counterfeit goods, or ordinary items bought by us but made by trafficked labour, not to mention the back pages of our newspapers or the exploitation by the internet, as identified by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection
Despite all of the above, Government, Charities and Churches are seeking to work together to combat this. However, it is very early days and issues still need to be tackled in a variety of significant ways. Government takes a departmental approach - other countries appoint a champion independent of political parties. MP’s have an all-party parliamentary group. Charities and the church have a variety of
sites which can be found by going onto the internet.
The Methodist Church supports a project in Birmingham to facilitate a local response and has helped set up a Regional Anti-trafficking network in the West Midlands. The Anglican Church, through The Children’s Society, has projects in London, Birmingham and Manchester.
Locally, yes us, what are we doing? A service will be held on Sunday 20th October for Anti-Slavery Day. Yes, it will identify what Human Trafficking is, but the service will also look at our Faith in Action, the Hope that the church can give in this, and the Love that it can provide by reaching out. Please come.
By the way, you could help! Write to your MP and Police Commissioner - ask them what they are doing? Tell your friends, go on line and find out more.
Written by the Minister & Members