Modern Slavery event, North Wales

Ali Ussery feeds back after a significant and strategic modern slavery awareness raising event in North Wales earlier this week:

On Monday September 7th a meeting was held at Prince’s Drive Baptist Church where over 50 people were in attendance to hear two presentations concerning issues around Modern Slavery.

The North Wales Anti Slavery Coordinator, Mr Jim Coy briefly gave an update about the progress that has been made in this area since he spoke at our previous meeting in February.  Jim is the first official Anti Slavery Coordinator in the UK, and is employed by the Welsh Government.  The project has been in existence for two years, with four main objectives; awareness raising and training in the public sector and community, the rescue and support of victims, investigation and intelligence sharing, and prevention.  Jim talked about the progress that is being made to train all levels of public sector workers throughout the six counties of North Wales, and he gave an update from Operation Base, which took place in March 2015, when 111 migrant workers were taken from a dangerous situation in Deeside.

Marko Stupar gave a very moving presentation about his work on anti-human trafficking in Serbia.  Marko is employed as a worker among student with IFES, which is affiliated with UCCF in the UK.  He shared about how he personally learned about the selling of female children from Serbia’s orphanages into the sex trade, and this empowered him to begin a work there to raise awareness among students and school pupils about the dangers of trafficking.  Serbia is a starting point for modern slavery, a transit country and host, with many serious issues that must be dealt with.  Marko’s passion to make a difference and his faith in Christ to empower him is a great inspiration.  He recounted a personal story about a young girl who was trafficked into sexual exploitation, and told about how he met her and learned about her story.

At this meeting there was an opportunity to pray and ask questions to our speakers.  There is a group of people in the Colwyn Bay area who are keen to arrange more events such as this, and we plan to get together in the near future, with a proposed meeting to be arranged for Sunday October 18th.