Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Mothers' Union

Conference on Modern Day Slavery                   

In March 2019 the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich hosted a powerful and thought-provoking conference on Modern Day Slavery.

During the morning we heard from Dr Alison Gardner of the University of Nottingham who explained how forced labour, forced commercial sexual exploitation, debt bondage, human trafficking, descent-based slavery, child slavery and forced and early marriage all have an impact within our society.  The UK government estimates between 10,000 and 13,000 slaves are living and working in the UK.  Many are found working in agriculture, hospitality, construction, fishing, private houses, brothels, nail bars, cannabis farms, criminal exploitation (eg ‘County Lines’), recycling plants and car washes. 

A presentation from Caroline Virgo of the Clewer Initiative outlined how the Clewer initiative enables the Church of England and wider church networks (including the MU) to develop strategies for detecting modern slavery in their communities and helps provide victim support and care.  For details please visit their website (www.theclewerinitiative.org).  The website also includes information on how to spot the signs of modern slavery, what to do if you encounter it and how you can report it.  The conference also included presentations from Mark English, Human Traffic Coordinator from Norfolk and Suffolk Constabulary, and Kerry Brighouse, Managing Director of the STN (St Thomas Norwich) Trust, Norfolk.  

Mothers’ Union is an official partner in the project.   We are committed to working together to raise awareness and to spot the signs so that we can create a climate to change behaviour and challenge existing practises.  This way we can make our communities slavery-free and the Mothers’ Union in St Eds and Ips are on to it….. 

Adapted from our Diocesan eNews (7.3.19)…