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/ 25 February 2019

Modern Day Slavery

In one of the wealthiest countries in the world, in a capital city heralded for its history and culture, modern slavery is thriving.  Hundreds of people are trapped by domestic servitude, forced labour or sexual exploitation, all in plain sight of Londoners. Many more are at risk of falling through the cracks, hidden from the view of the authorities, charities and the church.  Behind those statistics there are real people.

This year’s Lent Appeal will build on the work of the Clewer Initiative, part of the national church’s approach to eradicating modern day slavery, which was launched by the Archbishop Justin in October 2017.  It rightly calls for a community wide response to modern slavery – developing partnerships between the Church, statutory and non-statutory agencies to create a network of advocates seeking to end Modern Day Slavery.

From today until the end of Lent we will be encouraging parishes to increase awareness of this issue, equipping people with the skills to spot the signs and take action so that modern day slavery can no longer be hidden in plain sight. The Lent Appeal page on the Diocesan web site provides information, advice and guidance to help us do this. Capital Mass, our delivery partner for this Lent Appeal, hosted the ‘Modern Slavery in London’ event in January at St John’s, Notting Hill. More information about the evening, including links to the presentations can be found here.

As Bishop Sarah explains:

“There are at least 40 million victims of modern day slavery in the world today, and tens of thousands in the UK.  According to a National Crime Agency report, 1608 potential victims of Modern Slavery were found in London in 2017. However, we know that the actual number of those enslaved is much higher than this.

“Whether it be a woman or girl trafficked to work in the illegal sex trade, a man forced to work on a construction site or a child married against their will, none are free.

“Micah tells us that “he has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”  This may be the best-known passage from the book of Micah – it is full of words and phrases that occur throughout scripture: justice, love, kindness, a walk with God.  We should bear this in mind, that life can be safely travelled only if it is made “with God.”

“Like Modern Day Slavery, the Kingdom of God lies hidden in plain sight. I believe that, together, we can make a difference, and that by working to reveal these injustices and end Modern Day Slavery, we can reveal the Kingdom of God in London.” 

Partner Organisations

Once again we will be partnering with 5 charities that are already working to end Modern Day Slavery in London:

Ella’s Home Working with women in London trafficked for Sexual Exploitation

Kalayaan Supporting migrant domestic workers in London who have been subjected to forced labour or have been trafficked to the UK for domestic servitude

Love 146 Supporting young people in London who have been (or may be at risk of being) trafficked

Rise Project of The Children’s Society Support for boys and young men aged 11-17 in London who have been trafficked.

Tamar Working with women in Westminster trafficked for Sexual Exploitation

All do equally incredible work, and we are asking all our parishes to prayerfully consider how we as a Diocese can join together and raise awareness of an issue that is ‘Hidden in plain sight’ whilst raising funds to support our partner charities help those trapped by MDS.

Please contact Carol Ward if you have any further questions about the appeal.

About Carol Ward

Carol Ward is the Parish Fundraising Manager for the Diocese of London, and has a wealth of experience across many sectors for parishes to call on. She is married to Andy. Together, they have three children, two grandchildren, and a dog called Jack.

Read more from Carol Ward

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