One-anothering – fighting the evil of Modern Slavery

20th April 2022

Modern Slavery

Over the next few months, you will find an article by a member of the small task group working with me and Church of England Birmingham to raise awareness of Modern Slavery and to ask what as the church we can do in response. The first of these you will find below written by Sarah Turner of Thrive Together Birmingham.  As we consider some of the issues, partners and resources available over the next few months, might I encourage you to designate a Sunday in the Autumn when your church community is invited to pray for and engage with the challenge of Modern Slavery.

Yours in Christ

Bishop Anne Hollinghurst

 

One-anothering – fighting the evil of Modern Slavery

Modern Slavery is present in every major town and city of the UK. It takes place every day in ordinary places from farms to factories, nail bars to car washes, building sites, restaurants and behind the doors of ordinary looking homes all over the country. Women bullied and manipulated into sex work, children coerced into county lines drug running, men forced into labouring in fields and on building sites. The evils of modern slavery and human trafficking continue to grow, as traffickers prey on the desperation of vulnerable people, tricking them into slavery with the promise of a better life.

To be honest it feels overwhelming to think about, but there are things we can all do to play a part in combatting modern slavery and one of the tools in our armoury is stronger, connected and engaged communities of people looking out for one another.   Jesus has a lot to say about ‘one-anothering’ - about looking out for the poor, the marginalised, the exploited, but what might that look like for us today in the fight against modern slavery? You might be asking -what can I do? Well, everyone can do something, so here are a few things to help you make a start.

Understand the issue:  We begin by educating ourselves and understanding the issue better. There are a variety of organisations that are taking action on Modern Slavery and provide useful information and insights

Spot the signs:  We can learn to spot the signs of modern slavery. The charity Unseen UK has some useful guidance and information.

Know how to report: There is a modern slavery helpline to call to report on 0800 0121 700 They also provide advice and guidance too. 

Raise awareness: We can be an advocates for this issue in our churches and communities. Perhaps your church might want to have a special service dedicated to this issue, or run the Clewer Initiative County Lines course, or put up some posters with the Modern Slavery helpline & Spot the Signs info on them in your church - these resources, and others, can call be found on the Clewer Initiative website. 

Pray: As people of faith we have to pray for this issue. We must pray for victims, for survivors, for perpetrators and for all those working to end trafficking and modern slavery around the world. 

The Clewer Initiative have some prayer resources available too that you might find helpful.

Sarah Turner
Senior Development Worker
Thrive Together Birmingham