Expert panel to focus on slavery today
The UK’s former Anti-Slavery Commissioner is among a panel of leading international activists who will be challenging communities in Wales to understand and overcome the fastest-growing crime around the world.
Kevin Hyland OBE (right), now a member of the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, will be taking part in Lighten our Darkness, a free webinar hosted by the Church in Wales and Haven of Light, discussing the realities of slavery today, how it is often hidden in plain sight and what is being done to overcome it.
The webinar will take place on Thursday 8 October, ahead of Modern Slavery Day 2020 (18 October), and will be hosted by former BBC journalist and now the director of WordWatchMonitor.org Julia Bicknell. She will be introducing interviews and a panel discussion with guests including:
- Kevin Hyland OBE (Member, Council of Europe Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings; Senior Advisor to the Santa Marta Group; former UK Anti-Slavery Commissioner)
- Rt Revd Dr Alastair Redfern (founder of the Church of England's Clewer Initiative)
- Rt Revd Dr Joanna Penberthy (Bishop of St Davids and lead Bishop for Church and Society, Church in Wales)
- Commissioner Christine MacMillan (Chair of World Evangelical Alliance Global Human Trafficking Task Force & founder of the Salvation Army International Social Justice Commission)
- Pam Cheesley Hollinshead (Joint Regional President of Soroptimist International Cheshire North Wales and Wirral)
Modern slavery is the fastest-growing crime around the world and is often implicated in the services or products we use every day, in the manufacturing supply chains behind the things we buy, in casual labour and in sexual and criminal exploitation.
Canon Carol Wardman, Bishops’ Advisor for Church and Society, said, “The debate on modern slavery at our Governing Body meeting last year highlighted an enormous level of concern about this crime amongst church members. We believe we now need to go beyond raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of modern slavery, and start to challenge the systems and structures that not only allow it to continue, but sadly all too often let down the victims.
“Despite the Modern Slavery Act 2016, and the introduction of the National Referral Mechanism, suspected victims of slavery are being left in limbo for many months whilst decisions are made about their status, and pitifully small numbers of perpetrators are brought to justice. Our panel of international experts and activists will start to shine a light on what is fuelling the continuation of this crime worldwide, and how we can take action to deal with it more effectively.”
The founder of Haven of Light, a north Wales based charitable organisation working to raise awareness of modern slavery, and co-organiser of the event, Alison Ussery (left) said, “Modern slavery is a very sad reality in our world today, and exploitation is happening in Wales. British young people are groomed and used by gangs, and children, women and men are forced into situations of abuse. As a society, we purchase goods that are produced through forced and child labour, from our fruit and vegetables, clothes, smart phones and laptops.
This terrible crime does not have to happen. Change is possible, and the eradication of slavery today is achievable.
“This event hosted by the Church in Wales gives us the opportunity to hear from global experts about the urgency for a new strategy, and the important role that communities of faith have in this fight for freedom.”
Register for the webinar