Thought Catalogue – Standing Against Modern Slavery
Most Commonly people are trafficked into forced labour in hospitality, agriculture, construction, beauty, fishing and sexual exploitation.
As with many of the other vulnerable groups Hope into Action works with, housing instability is one of the most pressing issues for survivors of modern slavery. It is widely recognized by those working in this area that there is a big gap in support for survivors, despite the Government’s efforts to support those affected.
The government-funded National Referral Mechanism (NRM) is a victim identification and support process designed to make it easier for all agencies that could be involved in a trafficking case to share information about potential victims and facilitate their access to accommodation and support.
However, there is a lack of reliable data as to what happens to people once their situation is reported. And with no basic support services provided, many are forced to return to their exploited situation or become homeless. Therefore being provided with a house is a significant boost to their opportunity for a sustainable new life away from their captors.
Slavery may sound like a horror from the last. But Government figures estimate that there are between 10,000 and 13,000 potential modern slavery victims in the UK.
So when the opportunity arose to open a house specifically for victims of modern slavery, we quickly took it. We approached Hope for Justice and the C3 Church in Cambridge to combine our expertise in what is a complex area of work.
We had been concerned for some time about the situation of slavery in this country and had been in talks with Hope for Justice and the C3 Church for a long time. So we were delighted when an investor came forward wanting to purchase a house for the project. It all came together brilliantly and in March 2018 the house was opened with a prayer commissioning service and now two gentlemen are in and were overwhelmed by the house and support they received.