Equality News Update: Ekklesia: Church of Scotland makes fresh commitment to tackle human trafficking and slavery

Reported by Ekklesia – the news we share raises awareness of equality issues being reported in the media.

The Church of Scotland has made a fresh commitment to tackle the “moral scandal” of human trafficking and modern slavery. It has signed a declaration to work with the Scottish Government and other statutory services and sectors to eradicate the scourge on society.

Kirk ministers and other faith leaders attended a seminar organised by a new charity called Survivors of Human Trafficking in Scotland. (SOHTIS). It has been set up to provide much needed aftercare to victims and support people who are reluctant to accept government help because of their fear of repercussions from traffickers.

Figures suggest that 40.3million people worldwide are enslaved with between 10,000 and 13,000 in the UK.

The Very Rev Dr Derek Browning, who was Moderator of the General Assembly in 2017-18, attended the seminar in Edinburgh on Monday. He said: “It remains one of the great moral scandals of our time that human trafficking and modern day slavery not only continues but appears to be growing across the world and within our own country. Areas affected are to be found in the sex industry, nail bars, pop-up car washes, the farming and fishing industries, the hospitality industry, enforced begging, and domestic cleaning. Human trafficking and modern day slavery covers forced labour, sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, child slavery, forced or early marriage, and descent-based slavery where generations are born into slavery.”

Dr Browning, minister of Morningside Parish Church in Edinburgh, said the enslavement of women, men and children is a “blight on the family of all God’s children”. Organised crime has adapted swiftly and cynically to exploit some of the most vulnerable people in our world and in our communities for financial gain,” he added.

“It can only be concluded that they hold human life very cheaply. Faith groups in our country, along with other charities and statutory bodies, continue to work hard and highlight the plight of modern day slaves. It is happening somewhere in your community, and one of the most effective things that church communities can do is to keep their eyes open. And if they see anything that looks suspicious or abusive, in cities, towns and villages, report it to the police.”

 

 

Read more at: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/28203

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