This event is hosted by The Clewer Initiative (a Church of England project raising awareness of modern slavery and helping the Church to provide care and support to the victims) alongside the Eastern Baptist Association which comprises the Baptist churches of Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex.
The summit will take place at St Pauls Church in Cambridge from 10.30am until 2.30pm. We will be welcoming speakers from the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority and the police, who will give an overview of the problem across England, as well as an insight into local cases of modern slavery. For example, we know that in August Cambridgeshire Constabulary were investigating pop-up brothels suspected of containing sex trafficking victims, as well as cannabis factories where modern slaves were harvesting the drug.
At the launch of The Clewer Initiative, Prime Minister Theresa May lent her support to the project, saying she valued “the work that the Clewer Initiative will be doing to enable the Church of England dioceses and wider church networks to develop strategies to tackle modem slavery.”
"In particular, I welcome the focus on engaging with local communities to help them to spot the signs of modem slavery. We need to shine a light on this hidden crime and to encourage more victims to come forward so that we can provide them with the support they need.”
The Modern Slavery Summit in Cambridge will “shine a light” on modern slavery in this part of the country, enabling those living in Cambridge and Cambridgeshire to understand what it is, and why their own contribution of spotting the signs and reporting their concerns could be so vital to the victims who are hidden in plain sight in our cities, towns, and even villages.
It concerns me deeply that in our Diocese, whose people I have been entrusted to care for, there are individuals who have been stripped of their dignity and personhood, and forced to work for no pay, under threat of harm to themselves or their families. That’s why I welcome the chance to learn more about this hidden crime, and see what I can do to end it in my diocese.
I hope you will join me on Saturday 3rd March. Please RSVP The Clewer Initiative via their Eventbrite: https://cambridgeslaverysummit.eventbrite.co.uk, as there are limited spaces available.
The Rt Revd Stephen Conway
Bishop of Ely