The Bishop of Derby has launched the Clewer Initiative, which is a 3 year project to enable Church of England dioceses and wider Church networks to develop strategies to detect modern slavery in their communities, and help provide victim support and care. Based on the groundbreaking work in Derby Diocese it involves working with the Church locally, identifying resources that can be utilised, developing partnerships with others, and creating a wider network of advocates seeking to end modern slavery together. Nationally, it involves developing a network of practitioners committed to sharing models of best practice and providing evidenced based data to resource the Church's national engagement with statutory and non-statutory bodies.
The initiative forms part of the Church of England’s approach to eradicating modern slavery and is funded by the Clewer Sisters.
The Clewer sisters are an Anglican order of Augustinian nuns founded in 1852 to help marginalised, mainly young women, who found themselves homeless and drawn into the sex trade, by providing them shelter and teaching them a trade.
One of the highlights of last year’s event was the forming of partnerships around Derbyshire. It was a partnership between Derby City and Derbyshire County Councils, the diocese and the police that has resulted in the production of this new awareness card. The pocket-size card contains information and advice to help people spot the signs of trafficking.
The card will be launched at the Tackling Modern Slavery Together: One Year On event on Wednesday 24 June 2014
The course directly focuses on the demands placed upon businesses (who are involved in supply chain labour) as a consequence of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. The legislation places the onus firmly on such businesses to ensure that there is no labour exploitation in that supply chain. Identification may be clear and sometimes much less so. Identification can occur on the frontline. There is an additional course for those involved in contract management, training workforce, Human Resource managers, and the like. This course involves more in depth coverage of legislation, procedures, compliance with GLA, and (in the face to face training) how to undertake such interviews with labour suppliers that
better ensure that the information obtained in those meetings with labour suppliers is reliable . The course will be assessed at different stages by knowledge checks, skills assessment, and the production of a reflective portfolio, and an action plan in the context of their work environment. University certification will be awarded for successful students.
In March 2015 the Modern Slavery Bill gained Royal Assent becoming the second piece of anti-slavery legislation in 200 years. The Modern Slavery Act recognises that to tackle slavery as a criminal business, but also to support the many victims, requires a central legal framework, which can be used by the police, the judiciary, statutory agencies, and those who offer pastoral care. To support the new legislation, the government has introduced the Modern Slavery strategy which will provide a framework to enable collaborative work.
However the Modern Slavery Act will not end slavery and trafficking – this will happen through disrupting market forces. It is everyone’s responsibility to query whether they are purchasing items which have been produced through labour exploitation; to be aware of human
suffering in their community; to raise awareness; and not to accept that people are commodities to buy or sell for gratification.
Pope Francis has made a personal priority to fight the evils of modern slavery. I have been privileged to attend several events at the Pontifical Social Sciences Institute in Rome – bringing together expertise and energy from across the world. In addition, there is a special network of national police chiefs, and another involving mayors and leaders of major cities.
Our efforts today are contributing to these important and ground breaking initiatives.