Today, October 18th, is anti-slavery day but I reckon there wont be many who would know this. I certainly didn`t, had it not been for FaceBook.
So, in order to find out more, I googled and discovered this website, http://www.antislaveryday.com/
Fascinating and informative, I want to know the Churches response-not the national Church who seem to want to speak on every issue known, but the response of the ordinary man or woman in the pew in the face of the statistics and evidence that human trafficking is still flourishing a number of years after we celebrated the anniversary of William Wilberforces anti-slavery laws. The Anti-Slavery Day Bill became law in 2010. It was introduced in Parliament as a Private Members Bill by Anthony Steen MP, for Totnes, South Devon, and passed through both Houses, unopposed although amended. The Bill defined Modern Day Slavery as child trafficking, forced labour, domestic servitude and trafficking for sexual exploitation.
United Nations figures suggest that 800,000 people are trafficked annually in one form or another and In the past year, over 200 recently trafficked individuals – men, women and children – have been discovered in London. What is worse is that the Metropolitan Police think this is only a small fraction of the true picture. Those that are trafficked are usually forced into particular areas so that there is sexual exploitation in the pornography industry, forced labour, child exploitation, arranged marriages, removal of rights and so on. I suspect that in our lifetimes we as individuals will have come across some form of human slavery, probably without realising it.
So what can we do in the pews ? We must call on our MPs, write, e-mail etc. and ask them to step up Parliamentary dialogue about this; we must raise awareness of this evil, write to our President of Conference or the Archbishop of Canterbury to show our concern; we must be on the lookout for those who seem to be exploited and be prepared to speak out.
God gives a dignity to every human being. Let us not condone those who would seek to take that dignity away.