In this guest blog, Debbie Huxton, modern slavery campaigner for Transforming Communities Together encourages us to protect our communities and speak up against modern slavery.

“It is happening in every town and every city in the United Kingdom.” National Crime Agency.

In 2021, the staggering truth is that Modern Slavery is happening in our communities, hidden in plain sight in the streets where we live, places of worship, education, healthcare, employment, community groups, outreach projects, retail, recreation, hospitality and leisure. Wherever there is human life, there is the risk of exploitation. It can happen to anyone. Every area of society urban, suburban and rural are now affected becoming infected with this evil crime of human exploitation. Friends, we must protect our communities and speak up against injustice. As Christians, in the bible we are reminded that we are commanded by God to have an attitude of love, care and concern for others who suffer injustice, mistreatment and oppression. “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.” Proverbs 31:8 NLT

We therefore cannot just ignore injustice and move on with our own lives because we think that we are not directly affected. We each have a duty of care to one another to our loved ones, our church family, our work colleagues and our communities to acquaint ourselves with this subject.

”Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” Martin Luther King Jr.

Those currently enslaved and exploited need our help, and it can be overwhelming as an individual to know where begin. A great place to start is to find out more about the subject of Modern Slavery, how it impacts our communities across the United Kingdom and what you can do to help eradicate this evil crime. One of the fundamental things we can each do is to learn how to spot the signs and where to report any suspicions or concerns.

As a modern slavery campaigner working with Transforming Communities together funded by the Lichfield diocese Mothers’ Union, I run weekly online Modern Slavery awareness sessions that you have the opportunity to book onto, this is a fantastic opportunity for you to learn more. We are also able to organise online or group trainings for specific teams ie: foodbanks, soup kitchens, safeguarding, church congregations, Mothers’ Union groups or local organisations. You can book me to speak at a ‘Justice Sunday’ service. Whatever you choose this will help to set the wheels of being a people of hope and justice in motion. We cannot overlook the problem of modern slavery, human trafficking and county lines any longer. The time to act is NOW. We must Speak up when we see injustice against others.

No-one can do everything however we can all do something and together we can make a positive difference.

Debbie Huxton – Modern Slavery Campaigner

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