How victims of modern slavery are secretly exploited in our communities was the subject of a recent event, hosted by Wellsprings Together at Bradford’s Fountains Church.
The Rt Revd Toby Howarth, Bishop of Bradford introduced the day conference by pointing out the serious nature of modern slavery and how we can work as a faith community to combat it in our parishes.
Speakers from The Clewer Initiative, West Yorkshire Police and Shine West Bowling spoke to a varied audience from church and other faith groups, local authority, NHS and local charities about the impact of modern slavery, including insights around domestic servitude, debt bondage, county lines, labour and financial exploitation.
A workshop session helped attenders consider how to spot the signs of slavery from various case studies and there was powerful video testimony from a trafficked victim.
Churches and social action projects such as foodbanks, Warm Welcome spaces and Places of Welcome are urged to increase their awareness of modern slavery, to spot the signs and to report suspicions in order to help rescue people trapped in exploitation.
Anti-Slavery Week – October 16 - 22
A free church service resource is available from The Clewer Initiative focusing on modern slavery for Anti-Slavery Week. Wellsprings Together is encouraging parishes across the Diocese to increase their awareness of modern slavery, often hidden but present in almost every community.
For further information and resources contact Peter Smith, Diocesan Co-ordinator at Wellsprings Together.