The consultation is being convened by the Anglican Alliance and hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Representative to the Holy See, Archbishop Sir David Moxon.
The purpose of the consultation is to learn about the work of churches around the Anglican Communion in tackling modern slavery and human trafficking. The group will reflect on the most effective approaches and agree on recommendations for a Communion-wide response. These will focus on the prevention of trafficking and slavery, protection and support for survivors, prosecution of perpetrators, and policy and advocacy work with governments and the private sector.
The issue of human slavery is a growing global crisis, with recent estimates of nearly 30 million people oppressed in slavery in almost every part of the world. The issue has been raised in every regional consultation held by the Anglican Alliance, and so has now been identified as a global priority.
The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Pope have jointly committed to tackle human slavery, giving their blessing to the ecumenical and inter-faith initiative, the Global Freedom Network, launched in Rome in March 2014.
Human trafficking has also been recognised by the Anglican Consultative Council as a key issue for the Anglican Communion.
The consultation will seek to:
- Map the current work on trafficking and slavery around the Communion;
- Listen to and learn from the voices of survivors to guide the churches’ initiatives;
- Identify good practice for effective faith-based responses;
- Learn about other faith-based and secular approaches and networks – including the work of Caritas Internationalis’, the Global Freedom Network, the Salvation Army, and the Walk Free Foundation;
- Share resources, including materials for Freedom Sunday;
- Define a way forward – for shared learning and collaboration across the Anglican Communion and with other partners.
The consultation will build around the following dimensions of the fight to end slavery and human trafficking:
- Prevention at community level;
- Policy and advocacy on legislation and action by governments, private sector, etc;
- Protection, care, support and empowerment for survivors;
- Prosecution of perpetrators, including work with police and judiciary;
- Partnership with other ecumenical, interfaith and secular partners;
- Participation in the movement by churches and communities.
To deepen the spiritual foundations of the work, the participants will also spend a day in prayer and reflection in the ancient town of Assisi, considering the ministry of St Francis to the most vulnerable and oppressed of his time.
Rachel Carnegie, Co-Executive Director of the Anglican Alliance, said: “It is truly shocking and heartbreaking to hear the accounts of men, women and children who have been trafficked and enslaved. There are many important initiatives in different parts of the Anglican Communion. This consultation will enable us to learn together from our experiences and to shape a stronger collective response to end this crime against humanity.”
Churches, individuals and communities worldwide are invited to join a one-hour global webinar held on Thursday 6th November 2014 at 1pm GMT, which will share outcomes from the consultation and discuss the way forward for shared learning and collaboration across the Anglican Communion.
Just click this link to register and join the discussion:
In the picture: Members of the Global Freedom Network at Lambeth Palace, March 2014.