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Which century are we living in?
Slavery didn’t end with abolition in the 19th century. It still exists today in every country in the world. There are estimated nearly 21 million people in slavery across the world. Modern slavery is the severe exploitation of people for personal or commercial gain. Victims are deceived or coerced into a situation which they cannot leave.
Slavery is closer than you think. It happens all over the world, including the UK and the rest of Europe.
In 2015, the government acknowledged that slavery was not a thing of the past and passed legislation:
Here are 10 things that you maybe didn't know about slavery in Britain:
Which do you find most concerning and why?
How might you recognise instances of slavery?
Someone in slavery might:
- appear to be under the control of someone else and reluctant to interact with others
- not have personal identification on them
- have few personal belongings, wear the same clothes every day or wear unsuitable clothes for work
- not be able to move around freely
- be reluctant to talk to strangers or the authorities
- appear frightened, withdrawn, or show signs of physical or psychological abuse
- dropped off and collected for work always in the same way, especially at unusual times, i.e. very early or late at night.
What to do if you spot the signs?
If you suspect that someone is in slavery, DO NOT confront them or cause a scene as this will likely lead to increased harm for them. Instead, inform relevant authorities or organisations working in the field.
If you are in the UK and suspect someone might be in slavery, you have several options:
- Call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 or fill out an online form.
- Contact the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority to report concerns about the mistreatement of workers on 0800 432 0804, or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111
- Contact the Police
- Contact Anti-Slavery International or other specialist anti-slavery organisations
we place before you all who are living as slaves;
all who are exploited, manipulated and taken advantage of;
all who feel trapped with no hope of escape.
Give them strength and comfort,
Guide us to notice, speak up and act,
Help the authorities take the side of these your children
that they be liberated and healed.
We pray this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. AMEN
St. Julie: pray for us, protect us and bless us.