On 8 February, the Feast of St Bakhita, Caritas Plymouth collaborated with the Diocese of Exeter, the Clewer Initiative and Transforming Plymouth Together to deliver an awareness-raising event in Plymouth about modern slavery. Canon John Deeny led the opening prayer. We heard a clear message that modern slavery is everywhere – hidden in plain sight.
There are a number of forms of modern slavery: being forced to work for others; organ harvesting; being forced into criminal activities; made to work in the sex industry or in domestic servitude. Nationally there are over 3,500 current investigations into modern slavery including 50 in Devon and Cornwall. These investigations can involve many victims.
Catholic Social Teaching recognises that all human beings are our brothers and sisters belonging to one race and one human family. As Christians, we are called to reach out to those on the margins of society. We can all do something to address the terrible scourge of modern slavery. We can pray for all those affected. We can read about the issue and inform ourselves and others. Why not sign up for the Clewer Initiative email to keep up to date?
We can look out for the signs of modern slavery in our local community and report any concerns or suspicions. Unseen has helpful material about spotting the signs of modern slavery which can include isolation of individuals, a reluctance to seek help, people with limited opportunities to move freely, few personal possessions and poor living conditions. If you have any concerns you can report them direct to the police (101), Crimestoppers 0800 555111 www.crimestoppers-uk.org or the Modern Slavery Helpline 0800 121700 www.modernslaveryhelpline.org
To learn more about the work of Caritas in this area please contact email@example.com.