The pledges of schoolchildren across Derbyshire made at the first national Children’s Modern Slavery Summit are leading the Diocese of Derby’s ’40 Days of Good Choices’ campaign for Lent.
The primary school pupils taking part in the summit made a number of pledges to make better and informed choices and to raise awareness among their peer group and adults. These will now form part of the campaign to urge people to look at the many different ways they can combat modern slavery through a conscious decision to make good choices, whether as a consumer buying ethical chocolate or thinking about workers who are at risk of exploitation.
The campaign forms part of Diocese of Derby’s fight against modern slavery in the build-up to the 210th anniversary of the Act of Abolition on 25 March 2017. The Act of Abolition Parliamentary Banner and the Modern Slavery Banner for Derbyshire will tour around the county for the next six months following its inaugural exhibition in Derby Cathedral.
The banner has been specially commissioned by the The Houses of Parliament for the Act of Abolition anniversary. The banner - ‘Act, Campaign, Petition, Reform, Lobby, Argue’ - is by the award-winning visual artist Maria Amidu, a former resident artist of the Turner Contemporary. The work carries six signatures from the original Act, and will be used as a starting point for discussion and debate.
The first stop of the banner’s tour of the county is the University of Derby’s Buxton Campus this week (6-10 March) to coincide with Fairtrade Fortnight and is designed to encourage a discussion about worker exploitation. The banner will move to Chesterfield to be displayed at The Crooked Spire from 27 March.
The University of Derby recently renewed its status as a Fairtrade University, and the banner will offer a backdrop to activities on Tuesday 7th March. Staff, students and the public will be invited to "make their mark" on the interactive banner to show their commitment to continue the fight against modern slavery.
Bishop Alastair said: “With a strong anti-slavery campaign throughout the county, I’m delighted the banner is coming to Derbyshire ahead of the Act of Abolition anniversary. We hope it will prompt reflection and engagement from communities who are being invited to sign the banner to show their support for the fight against modern slavery.”
As well as working with young people to raise awareness, the Bishop of Derby has also been delivering a training course for adults.
The first of its kind in the UK, the Responding to Modern Slavery course was designed and led by Bishop Alastair at St Peter’s in the City. The Bishop of Derby is now looking to replicate the sessions in the autumn in the north of the county. Among the speakers invited to contribute were members of the Derby and Derbyshire Modern Slavery Partnership.
The Bishop of Derby is also the chair of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner’s Advisory Panel and is the Archbishop of Canterbury’s international representative for anti-slavery work. Currently, on behalf of the Archbishop, he is working with the Vatican and global leaders to find a way to end slavery.
For anyone interested in finding out more about the courses or the work of the Bishop of Derby on modern slavery, please visit Diocese of Derby: Human Trafficking