Freedom Sunday: Helping your Church to raise awareness to the hidden crime of Modern Slavery

September 10th, 2018

In response to new figures showing a dramatic rise in modern slavery within the UK, many churches are raising awareness of this hidden crime by celebrating Freedom Sunday.

The United Nations estimated that 40.3 million people are living in modern slavery worldwide, with the number in the UK previously estimated at 10,000-13,000. It has been commonly thought that numbers may well be much higher than this, and the recent revised UK estimates from the Global Slavery Index puts the level of UK Modern Slavery at a staggering 136,000 – over ten times its previous estimate.

These statistics, alongside further figures from UK Statutory bodies, highlight the hidden nature and size of this crime; even those who have been fortunate enough to be rescued and given initial support can often face homelessness, destitution and the long-lasting effects of trauma.

Louise Gore, Equiano Project Manager for Jericho, said:

“I was shocked to read the recent revised statistics from the Global Slavery Index. It is now estimated that 136,000 people are living in slavery in the UK; this is ten times any previous estimate, and shows the desperate need to support these victims trapped in slavery.

“The stories of individuals we work with of surviving slavery, only to end up homeless and destitute, combined with the long term effects of trauma, show just how critical long-term support for these Survivors is.”

Gore continues, explaining the reasoning and continued need for Jericho’s Equiano Project:

“Nobody should have experienced what they have gone through, escape, but then return to destitution, or even re-exploitation. Over the last four years supporting Survivors, I have learnt that there is no quick fix.

“I have seen the help we offer at Jericho go a long way toward providing the stability, safety and security that these Survivors need; but it has also highlighted the deep impact that slavery and trauma can have on an individual, and the huge variety of ways that this can be presented.

“I want our experience and learning to continually be informing the work that we do. It’s challenging to see the vulnerabilities of so many of our Survivors, yet hugely rewarding to see lives of men and women gradually being transformed, step-by-step, and for them to see hope for a brighter future becoming a reality.”

The Equiano Project

The Jericho Foundation are proud to be supporting Survivors of Modern Slavery, post-rescue, through their Equiano project; providing work placement opportunities, combined with holistic wraparound care, and access to secure accommodation and additional support.

Your Church and Freedom Sunday

Churches are encouraged to choose a Sunday in September or October to mark Freedom Sunday, but ideally marked on the Sundays surrounding anti slavery day which is the 18th October. Your church could host a Freedom Sunday event, praying for all victims of Modern Day Slavery while raising awareness of human trafficking and slavery. For resources and further information contact Louise at The Jericho Foundation on 0121 647 1960 or at [email protected].

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