Anti-Trafficking: What we do (from 2020)

February 22, 2022: Catholic Anti-Slavery Forum (One Church Approach Meeting)

For full background to this Forum see the One Church Approach webpage

[Update to Bishop John and his reply]


Thank you for this information. What a serious problem, and getting worse. But organisation like this, and networking, will surely have an impact.


where to buy isotretinoin bodybuilding Catholic Anti-Slavery Forum Meeting: 22 February 2022

In attendance via zoom meeting:

Cardinal Vincent Nichols

Bishop Kenny (Episcopal Liaison to the National Board of Catholic Women)

Lynda Dearlove (Women from the Well) Chair

Kevin Hyland (formerly Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner) Chair

Luke de Pulford (Director of Arise) Forum Secretariat

Jaya Pathak (Arise and Forum administrator)

David Ryall (CBCEW)

Raymond Friel (CSAN)

Clive Chapman (CSAN)

Garry Smith (The Medaille Trust)

William Neal (JRS)

Martin Foley (Apostleship of the Sea)

Karen Anstiss (Carias Bakhita House)

Anthony Brown (Caritas Diocese of Salford

Carol Hill (Catholic Care, Diocese of Leeds)

Sian Thomas (Caritas Diocese of Brentwood)

Abi Martin (St Chads Sanctuary)

Bridgetta Rooney (Sisters of St Joseph of Peace)

Muaricio Silva (Columbian Missionaries)

Jim Hannigan

Hannah (Volunteer)

Embi Purpose of the Forum

The Catholic Anti-Slavery Forum exists to provide a meeting space within which Catholic organisations working to address exploitation can meet, share ideas and be briefed on issues of common concern. It does not seek to be a representative body and will not have its own legal or charitable personality. It is, in effect, a secretariat provided for the common benefit of these organisations. The common hope is that the Forum will help to create the conditions for increased collaboration between Catholic groups working in this space to the benefit of those who have suffered, or are at risk of, exploitation. For the time being, Arise has agreed to facilitate this service, but the initiative belongs to, and will be shaped by, the membership. To that end, the agenda for meetings will be decided upon by members and led by consensus. Cardinal Nichols Introduction

In welcoming people to the meeting, and stressing the importance of working together, Cardinal Nichols said that the problem was getting worse instead of better. “In this long struggle against modern slavery we are probably losing rather than winning, because just as the situation of so many people around the world worsens, so the supply chain of people for the traffickers grows.”

With the purpose of the Forum expressed as above, Kevin Hyland emphasized that it’s not about reinventing something it’s about getting that support and that hope [that are essential to progress].

National Referral Mechanism

Major concerns were raised about the National Referral Mechanism and the slow speed of reaching a decision.  We heard that the average wait from a Reasonable Ground Decision to a final decision was 295 days.  The Medaille reported an example of someone who had so far spent three Christmases in a Medaille safe house.  (Yesterday morning the Pan Lancashire Anti-Slavery Partnership corrected the figure and said it was actually much worse at 400 days.)  There are international obligations we are not heeding.

Nationality and Borders Bill

The Human Trafficking Foundation attended seven meetings at Parliament and it seems there is little likelihood there will be much change.

After Exploitation have drafted a very good letter asking MPs to remove Section 5 (a cluster of measures, restricting support for survivors of trafficking).  Organisations and individuals are encouraged to respond using the letter.

JRS UK and SVP put out a briefing to Catholic peers on 23 October, focusing on clause 11 (e.g. late disclosure and how travel to UK) and asked CSAN to put out to as many Catholic organisations as possible.

A possible area for change is offshore processing which Detention Action are focusing on and is a potential winnable area.

Parts of the Bill run contrary to the Council of Europe and the ECHR

A current strategy is to focus on amendments in the Lords even though it is likely anything will be overruled in the Commons.

Supply chains and amendments to the Modern Slavery Bill

I referred to the Salford Diocese Modern Slavery Statement emphasizing that a strength of our statement compared with others is the very real policy/procedures put in place to ensure the Statement has teeth. Also, In contrast to other statements, ours recognized the personal complicity of, and need for action from, the entirety of the Catholic population, therefore going beyond good practice at organizational level.  In the context of subsequent discussion, the publication of our Statement seems timely.

There are amendments to the 2015 Modern Slavery Bill and a 2nd reading in the Lords fairly soon aims to hold businesses to account on certain aspects of transparency.  There is cross party willingness to support the amendments.  Luke mentioned a special briefing for those interested (so maybe Peter Fahy or Sion Hall?)

In addition there will be million pound fines for companies the Government does not believe is complying with the Modern Slavery Act

Cardinal Nichols proposed a Work theme on supply chains in our charities and referred to a European meeting which majored on our churches’ and Catholic charities’ supply chains

Medaille Trust update

Achieving Best Evidence (ABE) is going well working with police forces.  Medaille staff are part of victim rescue operations and work with the Police interviewing victims who are generally wary of authority.  (Lancashire Police  are part of this initiative)

The Moving on Project is a Medaille/Snowdrop project supporting female victims of human trafficking working in a number of areas including Manchester.  They are looking for more partners but offers of involvement need to come with some supportive funding.

Progress & communications matters

I raised this with Luke de Pulford prior to the meeting and he put on the agenda. I said that it was now over two years since the October 2019 In Plain Sight Conference (organised by Caritas Diocese of Salford through CSAN) and we still did not have the Declaration for partnership working, and the majority of people attending the 2019 Conference had heard nothing since the summary notes put out shortly afterwards.  The response was:

After a number of requests for change, they had been waiting for Bishop William Kenny and the Declaration would hopefully be agreed at the next meeting in three months’ time.  Bishop Kenny said he looked forward to seeing the latest draft.

All who attended the 2019 Conference and many others had been invited to all three meetings of the Forum, and with a reminder for each they had received six invitations. (I will check with my other diocesan links but this morning I spoke to one of the speakers at the 2019 Conference who had heard nothing except via myself.  I will get back to Arise on this because it is important that as many Catholic organisations as possible subscribe to partnership working)

Future meetings and Working Groups

Jaya (Arise) has offered to coordinate working groups.  In that context a closing statement from Women from the Well included the term “synodal” and represented well the spirit in which this group aims to work: “this is the Catholic response so encourage us to be more forward in expressing how we become a synodal church, listening to each other, but also listening to the needs on the ground, to create a more effective response.”

A suggestion of providing notes of meetings, people’s contact details, and papers in advance for easy discussion, was taken up.

Anthony Brown

24 February 2022

February 8, 2021: Launch of the Salford Diocese Modern Slavery Statement

The Modern Slavery Act (2015) includes a requirement for employers in the private sector with a turnover of more than £36m to make a statement about what they are doing to ensure that their supply chains are free of modern day slavery.  The Public Sector will soon have to make the same  requirement.

Although charities do not currently have to meet this requirement the Diocese, and even the parishes, procure services from many suppliers and there is the possibility of modern trafficking in these suppliers or their supply chains.

Our first thoughts for the Diocese go back to May 24 2019 and a meeting with Libra Solutions when we explored some of the issues: procurement policy, ethical investment policy, mandatory advice on money laundering and a list of trusted suppliers.

We considered the possibility of engaging Libra Solutions or Hope for Justice in drawing up a Modern Slavery Statement. At a meeting on July 15 2019, Peter Fahy felt that the Diocese could draw up the statement in-house but it wasn’t until April 2021 that we started serious discussions with the Diocese.

Sion Hall of our Parish Anti-Trafficking Group drew up the initial draft which went through a number of revisions and additions before publication today on the Feast Day of St Bahkita.

Our statement is probably unique in its reference to the wider issues for parishes: “People experiencing modern slavery and trafficking should rightly see our churches and social outreach as places of sanctuary and refuge. It is important, therefore, to ensure that all members of the church, clergy, parishioners, staff and volunteers are aware of the signs to look out for and how they can help survivors find protection and support”.  It also refers to Caritas Anti-Trafficking which was born in the Parish of Our Lady of the Valley: Caritas Anti-Trafficking began as an initiative by parish volunteers in Our Lady of the Valley Parish, Clitheroe in 2015 and working with East Lancashire Police to raise awareness, the project has created various resources to raise awareness of Modern Slavery, delivered a range of talks and seminars to parishes, schools and other voluntary organisations. 

See the Diocesan news item on the launch of the statement here

October 20, 2021: Preston College Freshers Fair

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Lilyana Slavova (Hope for Justice), Sion Hall (Lancashire Constabulary PLASP Lead),
Hannah Mitchel (Hope for Justice) and Anthony Brown (Caritas, Diocese of Salford, Anti-Trafficking) 

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Sion and Lilyana with Andy Pratt

Caritas Diocese of Salford Update of Activities from July 2021 and ongoing

July 12: Porticus consultation on understanding the issues around modern slavery

July 14: Anti-Slavery Forum.

July 14: Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner Annual Report (Zoom).

July 20: Afruca, Safeguarding Children from County Lines in School Holidays.

July 22: Pan Lancashire Anti-Slavery Partnership Meeting

July 24: Burnley Freedom Day (PLASP Roadshow)

August 28: Cheshire Freedom Day (PLASP Roadshow)

Ongoing: Homeless trafficked man

Ongoing:  Input to the Caritas Social Action Network response to the Nationality and Borders Bill

Ongoing:  Researching the impact of current issues on modern slavery and developments within the Catholic Church and Diocese of Salford  with a view to a strategic plan for 2022/2023

For more details see a fuller report here 

Freedom Bus outings so far in 2021

On May 29 the Freedom Bus went to Liverpool on an awareness raising event organised by the Pan Lancashire Anti-Slavery Partnership and Stop the Traffik and funded by the Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office.  The bus parked for a short while outside three car wash establishments before spending three quarters of an hour by Liverpool Anglican Cathedral where we were joined by Merseyside Police.  We then spent two hours by the International Slavery Museum where we engaged with the public and handed out leaflets and Medaille magazines.

On June 19 Morrisons in Nelson hosted a Freedom Day.  We were very pleased to have Fr Ged Kelly from the Parish of St John Southworth, Nelson, visit us, and also Carol Hartley of our Anti-Trafficking network who brought us delicious home baked cake.

On July 24 the Freedom Bus was in the centre of Burley where we also had a Soroptimist march through town.  During the day we had lots of visitors including parishioners from three different Catholic churches in Burnley, two women who were able to recount the problems they were facing on streets with drug dealers in the vicinity and the likely impact of these on their children, and  two people who had worked at the Boohoo factory in Burnley and were able to tell us about the working conditions there.

On August 28 we had fantastic weather for our trip to Cheshire. During the course of the day we visited Warrington, Widnes and Runcorn and also drove around the perimeter of the Creamfields festival. As always, we had some very interesting engagement with members of the public although I think we were all surprised at how relatively quiet the town centres were. We have come away with some follow ups, which is great and the social media support was excellent (over 25,000 views on the PLASP Twitter alone, and 200,000 reported on social media generally)

On October 16 Andy Pratt, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner joined us.  As usual we gave out a lot of leaflets.  More than usual perhaps we found a number of interesting people to talk to.  It seems that awareness and concern is increasing and people approached us more than has been in the case in the past.  Ceridwen Copping of Home at Home spoke to at least two potential sponsors.  The A21 march came and joined us for a while – organised by A21 with the Methodists bringing together the Christian churches.

See the PLASP webpage for pictures of the events .

Freedom Bus outings in the last quarter of 2020

The Freedom Bus has had two outings in the last quarter of 2020.

On Anti-Slavery Day, October 18, it travelled the county.  It was joined by PCC Clive Grunshaw and his Deputy Chris Webb in Blackpool. Mr Grunshaw did a great video message/podcast in support.    Blackpool Tower and the Harris Building in Preston were lit up to highlight the day.

On December 13 it travelled to Liverpool and visited places including the Town Hall where it was met by the Lord Mayor, the Slavery Museum, Liverpool Anglican Cathedral and John Lennon Airport where it was met by the Border Force.

In Plain Sight: How Caritas Salford is taking radical action to eradicate the hidden crime of Modern Day Slavery

See here for an overview

The lockdown has been a time of reflection and for the future we are abandoning the diary style we have used since 2014 and will be introducing news items of particular interest rather than every detail of what we do

April 3, 2020: Caritas Salford Beacon

The spring edition of the Beacon has two articles by Caritas Anti-Trafficking

April 2, 2020: GMP NGO Corona-virus update

Ann Cooney attended this Zoom meeting on the continuing impact of the corona-virus on anti-trafficking services

March 26, 2020: GMP NGO Zoom meeting

Details of the meeting can be found here

March 11, 2020: Homelessness event at Blackburn Library

Caritas Anti-Trafficking contributed to the organising of two events, morning and afternoon, at Blackburn Library aimed at staff and volunteers who work with or have contact with homeless young people and adults.  Sion Hall (PLASP Lead), Dawn Walmsley (Blackburn with Darwen Safeguarding Adults/Children Board) and Ed Saville (Clewer) spoke and we also had input from a victim of human trafficking about her own personal experience.  Around 50 delegates attended each event.

March 10, 2020: Meeting of clergy and representatives of the Christian churches in Clitheroe

An opportunity to raise the profile of our anti-trafficking work

March 6, 2020: Anti-Trafficking Stations of the Cross interlinked with the experiences of victims of human trafficking (St Michael and St John’s, Clitheroe)

These Stations of the Cross are by Mary O’Malley, Project Coordinator – Human Trafficking at the Medical Missionaries of Mary (MMM).  They are Mary’s experience of encounter with them.  All names are changed but the circumstances and gender are real people.  You can see the full text here

February 28, 2020: PLASP Meeting

February 25, 2020: PLASP Faith Sub-Group Meeting

Some notes of the meeting can be found here

February 20, 2020: In Plain Sight Follow-on Meeting

Mark Wiggin represented Caritas Anti-Trafficking at this meeting.  Full notes of the meeting have not been made public whilst discussions continue but you can see information sent to the delegates who attended the In Plain Sight Conference on October 15 2019 here

February 20, 2020: Meeting with Diocesan Education Department RE Leads

We met with Catherine Moss and Anna Nuttall, Salford, Diocese Education Department Primary and Secondary RE Leads, to discuss modern day slavery input, including County Lines, into Diocesan schools.

Although we don’t know what we can realistically expect of schools within that general aim, the ideal is for all schools to have Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery (HTMS) awareness raising incorporated into the school and built into the curriculum.

During 2020, we want a few pilots, ideally linked with a parish,  that can be presented as exemplars within the Diocese and serve to stimulate more action.  We need to build up a picture of what a model school would be like to include safeguarding, awareness raising and Catholic Social Teaching.

It was a useful meeting in which we explored how we could access school heads and heads of RE at diocesan level.  We were also looking for the opportunities in schools which would best lend themselves to our input.  We explored a number of potential schools and people for early contact.

February 17, 2020: Lenten edition of the Beacon

See the anti-trafficking part of the Beacon here

February 12, 2020: Towards a One Church Approach Conference call

A meeting to finalise details for the upcoming meeting with key delegates from the In Plain Sight Conference, on February 20.  The February meeting 20 meeting is to take forward plans for Towards a One Church Approach to Human Trafficking which is the term we are currently using to describe our plans for partnership working across the dioceses and Congregations of Religious.

February 12, 2020: Meeting with GMP Challenger

Programme Challenger is Greater Manchester’s partnership response to serious and organised crime. It is made up of many different agencies, who all work together to disrupt and dismantle individuals and networks committing serious crime in Greater Manchester, including running drug lines, exploiting people for financial gain, buying and using firearms, and laundering the money they make from their criminality.   Programme Challenger wants to be able to support a wide range of practitioners who are currently playing their part in tackling serious and organised crime. This takes many forms, and covers many specialisms and disciplines, including safeguarding, community safety, trading standards, mental health and social care, to name a few. By better informing practitioners around trends, threats and models of serious and organised crime,   Programme Challenger can better equip the workforce across Greater Manchester, and beyond.

Caritas Anti-Trafficking links with Programme Challenger via the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) Modern Slavery Response Network NGO Forum.

County Lines’ increasingly high profile has made it clear that it is an issue to be concerned about in our diocesan schools and the meeting was to explore ways of working in partnership.  We met with Sian Payne, Partnership Officer for Programme Challenger to exchange information on input to schools.

Programme Challenger use PowerPoint presentations for years 7- 9 along with videos but as GMP covers a number of local education authorities arrangements and delivery will differ.  Caritas Anti-Trafficking is exploring materials available via the Clewer Initiative and those being developed by the Medaille Trust.  We have also learned that Lancashire County Council has included input on County Lines in standard safeguarding input to primary schools.  Sian was interested in our Freedom Bus and Journey to Freedom exhibition.  There are clearly opportunities for joint working.  Our next steps are to liaise with the Diocesan Education Department and research existing materials

February 8, 2020: the Feast of St Bakhita

See Caritas Anti-Trafficking Newssheet 5 which we put out to parish priests in time for the Feast of St Bakhita

February 7, 2020: Presentation to Caritas Ambassadors

Ann Cooney gave a half hour presentation on the issue of modern day slavery to primary school Caritas Ambassadors.  Details later

February 6, 2020: Clewer Initative Conference at Bishopthorpe Castle

A very useful opportunity to network with people, particularly from the Anglican Church, who are working in the field of human trafficking.  We had good input from:  Bishop Alastair Redfern, Founder and Chair of the Clewer Initiative;  Caroline Virgo, Lead Officer for the Clewer Initiative; Steve Forster, Development Officer for the Clewer Initiative; and Sarah Walden, Best Practice Manager at Crisis who spoke about homelessness and the particular problems homeless women face.

Round table discussions focused on issues raised and progress made.  We were invited to create a time line for our anti-trafficking work covering the achievements of East Lancashire Police, PLASP and Caritas Anti-Trafficking from 2015.

February 5, 2020: Clitheroe Christians in Partnership

An opportunity to update the Clitheroe Christian community of what we are doing, particular developing a partnership approach following the In Plain Sight conference

January 31, 2020: Northern Dioceses  Environmental Group

Although this meeting on the environment had nothing directly to do with human trafficking, six of the fifteen or so people attending were either existing anti-trafficking contacts or active in the field.  The problems of mobilizing  communities to act against what Pope Francis refers to as structural sin are common to both environment and social justice issues. It was useful to network on anti-trafficking matters with Liverpool Archdiocese, Hallam Diocese and Lancaster Diocese.

January 28, 2020: Daughters of Charity, St Vincent de Paul

We updated Sister Bridie Dowd on the follow on from In Plain Sight conference and developments in Salford Diocese which will hopefully include some direct input for volunteers into schools and parishes as well as awareness raising in homelessness charities.

January 28, 2020: Medaille Trust Look Up Project

In a meeting between the Medaile Trust and Caritas Anti-Trafficking Marc  Pearson outlined the Look Up Project , a six-year partnership between the Medaille Trust and the Archdiocese of Birmingham to raise awareness of modern slavery.  There are 18 deaneries in the Birmingham Archdiocese and the Medaille Trust aims to cover three deaneries per year with a short talk in each parish.

In addition to heading the Look Up Project Marc manages the 15 Medaille envoys who deliver talks in churches, schools and other venues.

The Medaille are also developing a schools pack for key stages 3 and 4 (11-16 year olds)

Marc noted that the October 15 In Plain Sight conference had been very productive for the Medaille in establishing links with other dioceses.  We discussed a range of things that we could work on together: awareness raising input to schools including County Lines, the idea of a pledge, prayer cards and other resources.

January 25, 2020: Rights, dignity & religion: responding to ‘modern slavery’

This one day conference,  Understanding the Role of Faith Based Organizations in Anti-trafficking,  run by Sheffield University was centred on a three year research project by Sheffield and Leeds Universities:.  Caritas Salford was part of the sample of organizations interviewed as part of the research.  The summary report can be found here.  A full report will come out later.

During the course of the day there were contributions from a total of 37 speakers including Dame Sara Thornton, International Anti-Slavery Commissioner, and the Rt Revd Dr Alastair Redfern, chair of the Clewer Initiative.

January 23, 2020: PLASP Meeting

See the notes of the meeting here

January 19, 2020: Archdiocese of Liverpool Memorial Lecture 2020

Kevin Hyland gave the keynote address, after which delegates spent 15 minutes each on a choice of two out of twelve  tables to learn about and discuss a particular topic of interest.   The tables were chaired by: the Santa Marta Group, Caritas Salford, PLASP, the Salvation Army, CSAN, The Brick, a secondary school head of PSHE, Clewer Initiative,  the Medaille Trust,  City Hearts, Asylum Link Merseyside, Justice and Peace.

January 14, 2020: PLASP Homelessness event meeting 

A preliminary meeting to set the scene for an event at Blackburn Museum for delegates from homeless charities to learn about the issue of modern day slavery and what their organizations can do to combat it.

January 11, 2020 Caritas Reps Meeting

Caritas Salford Reps met for the arrangements for Caritas Sunday when all parishes have a collection for the charity.  Anti-Trafficking is one of the 22 services and the event was an opportunity to network with reps from other parishes.  We made two particularly useful contacts for future working together.

January 6, 2020 Ann Cooney

Ann joined us for induction and briefing at Caritas House.  Ann will work for two days per week for the next 12 months.