slavery

Introducing Embrace

One of our values at Red Community is to move beyond merely talking about human trafficking and to be actively, practically engaged in both opposing injustice and caring for survivors of trafficking and modern slavery in Wales. This is because: (a) 'the love of Christ compels us' (2 Corinthians 5 v 14); and (b) 'Faith without deeds is dead' (James 2 v 26).

However, we have not wanted to charge in and replicate what others are already doing - there is no point reinventing the wheel. Rather, we have been waiting on God to open the right doors for us, which is why it is with great faith and huge joy that we would like to introduce unquestionably the most exciting project that we have been involved in to date - EMBRACE!

In conjunction with partners in the Council, BAWSO and New Pathways, Embrace will enable local churches to actively and meaningfully provide practical care and support to survivors of trafficking and slavery in Cardiff in the three following ways:

1. SPONSORSHIP: Financial care for survivors in the form of small living allowances and provision of grants for various practical needs e.g. clothes, toiletries, bedding, training courses and legal fees.

2. BEFRIENDING: Getting alongside survivors who are seeking to get their lives back on track and offering genuine friendship, loving care and practical support in the community.

3. HOSTING: Providing short, medium and long term residential care for survivors with appropriately trained and equipped families and individuals.

As you can imagine, we are really excited about this project! We are also incredibly grateful to delegates of Word Alive whose incredible generosity at this year's event has allowed us to employ an Embrace Project Coordinator, Lauren, who is doing a fantastic job of driving the project forward. 

We will be updating the website in the new year, posting in more detail about the different elements of Embrace and sharing information about how to get involved and how to give financially.

A Gospel Response to Human Trafficking

trafficking web

  • There are at least 30 million slaves in the world today.
  • Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry on the planet.
  • Trafficking, slavery and exploitation are issues in every nation on earth – including here in Wales.
  • What does God think about this injustice?
  • How should the church respond?
  • Can anything be done to stand against the spread of this evil industry?

Join us for an evening of challenge, insight, provocation and ultimately hope as Dai Hankey (Pastor of Hill City Church and leader of Red Community) shares statistics, stories and Scripture that will open our eyes, break our hearts and stir up faith for the trafficked, exploited and enslaved.

Date: Thursday 19th February Venue: The Little Crown, Wainfelin Time: 7:30pm

As many as 13,000 slaves in the UK - BBC

A recent article by BBC News has revealed that the current number of slaves in the UK is higher than previously thought. The article can be read below. The full article (which includes videos) can be found here.

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There could be between 10,000 and 13,000 victims of slavery in the UK, higher than previous figures, analysis for the Home Office suggests.

Modern slavery victims are said to include women forced into prostitution, "imprisoned" domestic staff and workers in fields, factories and fishing boats.

The figure for 2013 is the first time the government has made an official estimate of the scale of the problem.

The Home Office has launched a strategy to help tackle slavery.

It said the victims included people trafficked from more than 100 countries - the most prevalent being Albania, Nigeria, Vietnam and Romania - as well as British-born adults and children.

Data from the National Crime Agency's (NCA) Human Trafficking Centre last year put the number of slavery victims in the UK at 2,744.

The assessment was collated from sources including police, the UK Border Force, charities and the Gangmasters Licensing Authority.

Concerted action call The Home Office said it had used established statistical methodology and models from other public policy contexts to estimate a "dark figure" that may not have come to the NCA's attention.

It said the "tentative conclusions" of its analysis is that the number of victims is higher than thought.

The Modern Slavery Bill going through Parliament aims to provide courts in England and Wales with new powers to protect people who are trafficked into the countries and held against their will.

Scotland and Northern Ireland are planning similar measures.

But outlining the strategy for government departments, its agencies and partners, Home Secretary Theresa May said legislation was "only part of the answer".

The "grim reality" is that slavery still exists in towns, cities and the countryside across the world, including the UK, she said.

"The time has come for concerted, co-ordinated action... we must step up the fight against modern slavery in this country, and internationally, to put an end to the misery suffered by innocent people around the world."

'Hidden crime' The Home Office said the UK Border Force would roll out specialist trafficking teams at major ports and airports to spot potential victims, and the legal framework would be strengthened for confiscating the proceeds of crime.

The modern slavery strategy will also see:

  • The government identify "priority countries" to work with, as well as other organisations including churches
  • British embassies and high commissions and NCA liaison officers develop local initiatives abroad
  • Work to strengthen the response by local authorities to child abuse, including trafficking
  • Work to raise awareness among homeless shelter staff of the signs of modern slavery Modern slavery minister Karen Bradley told the BBC she was not surprised by the figures.

She said: "This is very much a hidden crime and the important thing is that we get it out in the open. If we compare where we were 200 years ago, the anti-slavery campaigners there had to make people acknowledge that slavery was wrong.

"What we have to do today is not make people acknowledge it's wrong - everybody knows it's wrong - but we have to find it.

"It's a hidden crime, it's going on in streets, in towns, in villages across Britain and we need to help people find the signs of it so we can find those victims and importantly then find the perpetrators."

Aidan McQuade, director of charity Anti-Slavery International, said the Home Office's figures "sounded about right" but questioned whether the government's strategy went far enough.

Allan Doherty, of the charity Hope for Justice, said traffickers used a number of ways to control their victims.

"They will maybe threaten them in some cases with physical violence, or threaten their families back home and, of course, they take documents off victims and it makes it incredibly difficult for that victim to get away and to go and find any help.

"There are many cases where the victim does try and get help from the authorities and lots of opportunities are missed because the authorities don't understand the crime, and don't recognise them as victims."

Aneeta Prem, founder of the Freedom Charity, said recent publicity around the issue was helping, but "everyone needs to be vigilant."

She said: "It's not somebody in shackles, it's not somebody tied into a house that cannot leave, that isn't what a modern day slave is.

"It could be someone forced into sex trafficking, someone forced to work on a farm with no pay or little pay."

She added: "It could be somebody that's working in a car wash, somebody that you just suspect is in the wrong situation. We can all spot these signs and hopefully report it and get something done about it."

Let's keep praying for mercy and justice in our land.

Vulnerable man forced to work as a 'slave' in South Wales

For the second day in a row modern day slavery is making headlines on the Welsh news. Cardiff Crown Court are hearing the testimony of a vulnerable man who was kept as 'slave' for 13 years on a farm in South Wales. Once again, the details of exploitation and cruelty suffered by this man are shocking. However, again the fact that this case has made it into the courts for the perpetrators to face justice must be celebrated. Let's keep praying for freedom and justice in our land. Here's how the BBC are reporting it:

A "terrified" vulnerable man was made to live in a shed while working unpaid for 13 years, a jury has heard.

Homeless Darrell Simester said he was picked up on a dual carriageway by the Doran family and taken to Cariad Farm, near Newport.

The 44-year-old told Cardiff Crown Court he carried on working the day after he fractured his hip.

Daniel Doran, 67, and David Daniel Doran, 42, deny requiring him to perform forced or compulsory labour.

The charges against the father and son cover a period between 2010 and 2013.

However, the court has heard how Mr Simester had been missing for 13 years, living on the Dorans' farm.

Giving evidence on Wednesday via a video link , Mr Simester told a jury that he had only two days off - once to attend a fair in Brecon, Powys, and once to go out for a New Year's Eve celebration.

WheelbarrowMr Simester, from Kidderminster, Worcestershire, said: "I would start work at 7am and sometimes finish at 10pm or 11pm."

He added: "I fell off a horse one day. I fell on to concrete flooring.

"Somebody then got a wheelbarrow and stuck me in it. They took me to the shed I was living in. I was crying my eyes out at first.

"Was I taken to the hospital (straight away)? No. The following day I just carried on as normal working... mucking out the horses and cleaning them."

The court heard Mr Simester was taken to hospital two days after the accident - where he later had an operation on his hip.

He added: "I gave the doctors a different name (when I was in hospital). I told them I had fallen off a wall. Why did I give a false name? Somebody told me to give a false name. I can't remember who it was. I felt terrified and terrible."

Washed in a trough Mr Simester claimed he lived in a shed, which had rats and no washing facilities.

He ate two meals a day on his own in the outbuilding, which he said had a settee, table and chair and fire heater.

"I used the horse trough to have a wash," said Mr Simester.

For more than a decade he was not given soap and never used a toothbrush, the court heard.

When he developed toothache, Mr Simester was "disgusted" that David Daniel Doran gave him whisky to ease the pain.

He claimed he continued working despite a hernia the size of a grapefruit.

"It used to give me pain every day when I had it," said Mr Simester.

He had only one set of clothes when he arrived - a T-shirt, jumper, jeans and a leather jacket, which he used as a blanket when he slept. He was occasionally given different items of clothes while he was there.

The court heard Mr Simester was "terrified" of the two defendants. He said David Doran had thrown a spade at him, although it missed, while his son had thrown a block of wood at him, which had hit his head.

Slept rough The jury also heard how Mr Simester had to cross a horses' paddock to use a toilet that did not flush.

John Hipkin, prosecuting, showed the jury and Mr Simester a photograph of the shed, which was taken after he had left. It had a fridge-freezer, a table and chairs and other items of furniture.

Mr Simester said it was not furnished in that way during his stay.

He told the court he left school at 18 and found work unloading lorries in his hometown while living in a bedsit.

He said he met a man called Jimmy Loveridge, who took him to live in his wooden garden shed. He would give the family £100 of his £120 weekly wage from working in a warehouse.

When the Loveridge family took him with them on holiday to Porthcawl, Mr Simester said he fled from them and walked 40 miles (63 km) to Newport, where he slept rough in a car park.

He said he was walking along a dual carriageway near Taffs Well, Rhondda Cynon Taf, when he met Thomas Doran, another son of the defendant, who offered him work at his father's farm in Peterstone, Newport.

The trial continues.