Modern Slavery

More than 200 years after the abolition of the slave trade there are still an estimated 40.3 million men, women and children trapped in modern slavery, and up to 136,000 potential victims in the UK alone.

The Diocese of Rochester is working in partnership with The Clewer Initiative and the Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority, who are resourcing us to raise awareness of modern slavery and helping us to develop strategies to detect modern slavery in our communities and help provide victim support and care.

We have teams of anti-slavery volunteers in Bromley/Bexley, Medway and West Kent, who are delivering training and awareness-raising events. Please contact us on the details below to arrange this in your local church, school or community group. The Diocese is also working closely with local police and other organisations to do everything we can to support the fight against modern slavery in the local area.

The Diocese of Rochester also belongs to The Clewer Initiative’s national network of practitioners committed to sharing models of best practice. As we learn from one another, we will work better, more closely and change the story for more victims and survivors of modern slavery.

How you can get involved

The fight against modern slavery can only be won if we work together, and there are ways everyone can get involved. You can get all the latest news and resources by signing up to The Clewer Initiative’s monthly newsletter, or following them on Twitter (@theclewer), Facebook or Linkedin. If you would like to hear about local activities, please sign up for the quarterly Diocesan newsletter by emailing thekentishabolitionist@gmail.com. Please also follow us on our blog:  thekentishabolitionist.com.

Safe Car Wash

Many hand car washes are legitimate businesses, but some of them are not. Police raids in hand car washes in towns and cities up and down the country have unearthed victims living in horrendous conditions. The Safe Car Wash App is a new tool that will enable the largest community intelligence gathering exercise ever attempted in the United Kingdom.

Download the free app onto your smartphone. When you are using a hand car wash, simply open the app and complete a short survey about the working conditions of the car wash. If there is a high likelihood that modern slavery is occurring in the hand car wash, you will be asked to report your concerns to the Modern Slavery Helpline.

The data the app collects will be anonymised and shared with the National Crime Agency and the Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority.

Farm Work Welfare

Every year vulnerable and migrant seasonal workers are targeted and exploited by highly organised criminal gangs. The Farm Work Welfare App is easy to download and use and has been designed to support both employers and workers. To help support migrant workers, the content has been translated into seven languages.

Like the Safe Car Wash App, the Farm Work Welfare App contains a reporting tool. Farm businesses, workers or local people can use it to flag up concerns, suspicions or seek help. The information gathered will be processed by the Modern Slavery Helpline and will help identify hot spots, enable criminal investigations and, most importantly, support victims.

Raise awareness in your church and community

Do you need a poster, prayer, sermon idea, Lent guide or any other resource to help you raise awareness of modern slavery in your church or community? Then take a look at The Clewer Initiative’s Resource page: www.theclewerinitiative.org/resources

Slavery-proof your church projects

Traffickers prey on the most vulnerable. Any church project supporting vulnerable people – for example, a foodbank, soup kitchen or homeless shelter – is at risk of being targeted by traffickers and maybe supporting people who have been victims of modern slavery. Watch Charlie’s Story to learn more about this, and speak to your Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser about how you can ‘slavery-proof’ your project. You can also access safeguarding training about modern slavery online from the Church of England’s safeguarding portal: https://safeguardingtraining.cofeportal.org.

Mobilising Young People

If you work with young people in a church, school or community group then you can access free teaching resources on modern slavery at: www.modernslaveryeducation.com. The Clewer Inititative worked with Just Enough, an educational charity, to create easily adaptable lesson plans and collective worship materials for school-aged children from Key Stages 1 to 5.

Contact us

Michele Cooke and Lucy Williams
Volunteer Anti-Modern Slavery Leads, CESA Team, Diocese of Rochester

micheleamos@hotmail.com and lucym86@hotmail.com




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