Churches of different streams and denominations are joining forces with politicians, sportspeople and artists in response to the world’s human trafficking plight.
Anti-exploitation charity One By One is organising a ‘Churches Against Trafficking’ tour visiting churches in Lincoln, Essex, Dartford, Stoke, Sheffield, Wembley, Kensington, Derby, Teeside, Birmingham and the Isle of Man. A documentary featuring the churches will be aired on anti-slavery day on October 18, when a reception in the Houses of Parliament will also be held.
The event has the backing of the Bishop of Dover, Rt Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Premier League footballer Junior Stanislas and Christian band Rend Collective.
Bishop Hudson-Wilkin said:
“Every human being is created in the image of God. Every person deserves not only our respect, but our care and protection – especially those who are most vulnerable in our world. I am delighted to support Churches Against Trafficking. Together, we must continue to strive for the flourishing and freedom of all of God’s people.”
Stanislas, a forward for Bournemouth, also pledged his support, saying:
“When I heard the story of One By One and the children they were working with, I knew I had to get involved. It’s our mandate as Christians to reach the lost and the broken. I’m delighted to lend my voice along with many others across the church to see freedom come to those who are held captive.”
Rend Collective’s Gareth Gilkeson said:
“I became aware some years ago of the evils of human trafficking and became passionate about doing all I can to make a difference. I’m delighted that churches throughout the UK are standing [together with One By One] to bring hope.”
One By One works with children who are forced to work in brick kilns in Pakistan and its Dignity Project initiative – which provides girls at risk of trafficking with reusable sanitary pads and helps them stay in school – has reached more than 30,000 children in eight countries.
CEO Becky Murray told Premier :
“Our heart is to end exploitation and we have been working with children who have been born into bonded labour, born into slavery and working even from the age of four for 14 hours a day. In this day and age, I can't quite believe that slavery is still a huge issue -and yet it's bigger today than it's ever been in our history.
“It will take far more than one charity to stop this. We need the backing of every church, every politician and everyone who has a voice. If we all play our part, we can begin to see an end to exploitation and see freedom come to many lives across the world.”
Details of the tour can be found at : https://onebyone.net/projects/churches-against-trafficking/