Place 5

Modern Slavery: what can we learn from the vigil about the situation of modern slavery here in Liverpool?

Modern slavery is one of the fastest growing, highly profitable, low-risk, global organised crimes in the world which the Global Slavery Index estimates impacts around 136,000 people in the UK.

Modern slavery article

During the We See You vigil on Saturday 25th July, which is available to watch on Youtube, Stop the Traffik equipped us with an understanding of modern slavery and human trafficking. They taught us the eight main types of exploitation and raised awareness of the situation of modern day slavery and exploitation in Liverpool.

Liverpool is a city that is easy for traffickers to work in. Traffickers are able to bring people in and take people out of the city with ease due to its large transit hubs such as its airport, shipping ports, motorways, and bus and railway networks.

The organisations that spoke to us were responding to modern day slavery by working in partnership with other organisations; working with police during raids and alongside other authorities such as the border agencies to identify victims and traffickers and those moving money in and out of the country.

In Liverpool, the main forms of exploitation are:

  • sexual exploitation;
  • forced criminality (which includes benefit fraud, selling things on the streets, posing as homeless and hungry and illegally begging);
  • forced marriage
  • domestic servitude
  • labour exploitation (can be found in places like takeaways, construction sites, factories, nail bars and car washes).
  • Liverpool’s drugs trade is also tied up with modern slavery and human trafficking. Organised criminal gangs use county lines to operate out of cities like Liverpool into quieter towns on the outskirts.

Anyone is vulnerable to being trafficked - men, women and children.

While we are working remotely and using online technology more and more, it is important to note our online safety and to make sure our social media and online settings are as private as possible, as this is another avenue traffickers are using to deceive, coerce and exploit people.

What Ten Things can we do as a Church to make a bigger difference to modern slavery and human trafficking here in Liverpool?

How to report incidents of modern slavery and trafficking
Always call 999 if a situation of trafficking or modern slavery is in front of you. If you have any suspicions or are in need of advice you can dial the Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 0121 700 or fill out their online form.

We can become more aware and informed

  1. Watching the vigil and listening to speakers from Stop the Traffik, the Clewer Initiative and the Medaille Trust will inform you and help you become aware of the signs to spot.
  2. You can use the resources available on Stop the Traffik and Clewer Initiative websites to raise awareness.
  3. A great book to read as an introduction to the subject would be:
    Human Trafficking & Modern Slavery: Introducing the Issue and Recognising the Signs by Mike Emberson from the Medaille Trust.

We can become connected

  1. Talking about modern slavery and human trafficking, sharing what you have learned, and having conversations in your church and community is a really good way to build up community awareness.
  2. Connect with other churches, denominations and organisations such as The Clewer Initiative or the Mothers Union who are interested or already responding to modern day slavery. This helps to build up a network and an organised response.
  3. There are many organisations you could connect with online or on social media: Stop the Traffik, Medaille Trust, The Clewer Initiative, Hope for Justice, The Salvation Army, Caritas, are some of the organisations working in the faith sector to respond to modern slavery and human trafficking.
  4. You can also connect with the work of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Dame Sara Thornton, who shares lots of insight into the current situation and government response to modern slavery and human trafficking.

We can mobilise and take actionYou can join the response and take action in numerous ways.

  1. You could mobilise a prayer group to pray for an end to modern slavery and human trafficking.
  2. You could join the A21 team who are holding a Global Freedom Summit with events taking place in Liverpool. This is in place of their Walk for Freedom which takes place every year on 17th October to mark Anti-Slavery Day. More information is available on their website.
  3. You could mobilise a group of people and raise awareness of modern day slavery and human trafficking by organising a training event for your church, an assembly in your school, or awareness raising elsewhere in your wider community. If you would be interested in this work you can e-mail Jen Williams at who can help support you with this.