A meeting in London organised by the Conference of Religious to help boost involvement in anti-trafficking efforts, was attended recently by approximately sixty members of congregations.
Speakers included Detective Sergeant (DS) Helene Miller of the Metropolitan London Police’s Human Trafficking Team who gave a joint presentation with Rahab’s Community Engagement and Partnerships manager, Bex Keer who described the Rahab project as, “a real collaboration between a religious congregation and statutory authorities, working in the two London boroughs with the largest sex industry” – and gave a broad outline of how the cooperation works.
DS Miller added: “We cannot combat modern slavery alone, and whilst we work alongside many government agencies, it’s the goodwill of the Church and religious organisations whose support we truly value – they do the jobs we can’t always do – reaching out into the community, supporting the most vulnerable in society and being our ‘eyes and ears’. Perhaps the most valuable asset the Church has is being able to provide facilities for police to use as a ‘safe haven’ for victims, away from a police station, where we can assess their needs, conduct interviews and provide information and updates.”
Other speakers included: Mick Duthie of the Santa Marta Group, a representative from the Medaille Trust and a Croydon based anti-trafficking group, Brigidine Sister Patricia Mulhall CSB, who accompanies victims of trafficking who often spend hours at the Home Office, as they seek leave to remain, Brother Malachy Brannigan OH, who runs Olallo House, a central London safe house for victims of human slavery, Sr Bridgetta Rooney CSJP whose congregation has leased a property to the police as a sanctuary in which victims can be interviewed, and Sr Mary Agnes Idiong IBVM, who works with the Medaille Trust.
To read more about this significant collaboration to support victims of human trafficking in the UK go to:
In the lead up to the UN World Day Against Human Trafficking on 30th July, let us continue to pray and work for the elimination of human trafficking and for the strength and gentleness needed for those who work directly with groups with this mission!