Church of England helps protect young people from modern slavery

19th June 2018

New resources to be released in September will help schools raise awareness of modern slavery and help protect their students from becoming victims. The resources are a result of a collaboration between The Clewer Initiative, a project helping the Church of England to respond to modern slavery, and Just Enough UK, an educational charity teaching children about difficult subjects like modern slavery and terrorism.

The resources will include lesson plans for five key stages, collective worship, and guides for teachers. They are designed to raise awareness of modern slavery amongst the UK’s young people, and make them aware that they themselves could be at risk of being victims of this crime.

According to the National Crime Agency referrals of under-18s as potential victims of modern slavery increased 66% to 2118 in 2017, compared to 1278 in 2016 (Source: NRM Statistics 26/03/18). Minors are at particular risk of gang exploitation, for example in the form of ‘County Lines’, as well as Child Sexual Exploitation. In 2017 559 minors – 497 girls and 62 boys – were found to be potential victims of sexual exploitation, 119 were found in domestic servitude, and over a thousand in labour exploitation.

Modern slavery is thought to be taking place in every town and city in the UK, with high risk areas including hand car washes and nail bars. The Clewer Initiative recently launched the Safe Car Wash App, designed to help raise awareness of modern slavery in hand car washes.
The Bishop of Derby, Alastair Redfern, who Chairs The Clewer Initiative, said “I am delighted that The Clewer Initiative is partnering with Just Enough UK, to produce curriculum material for use in Church of England schools. Our intention is to produce innovative and interactive material to give teachers the confidence to equip children with the knowledge and the tools to combat modern slavery in the world around them.

“Young people are an integral part of the catalyst for change, while at the same time being at risk of becoming victims of trafficking themselves. This project is a chance to prevent human trafficking and modern slavery before it even begins.”

Phil Knight, CEO of Just Enough UK, said “For five years now Just Enough UK has been going into schools all across the UK educating young children on how we can stop Modern Day Slavery for future generations. We have done this organically on reputation alone but now partnering with The Clewer Initiative will open our message of a slavery free future to so many schools across this great country that we could not be more excited to be working together"
The Bishop of Ely, Stephen Conway, lead bishop for education said “I applaud this endeavour which fits so well with the Church of England’s vision for education. We seek in our schools to promote the dignity of every child and student and the hope of a fresh start where no one is excluded from a flourishing life.”

The resources will be available through an online portal on websites of The Clewer Initiative and Just Enough UK. Anyone who would like to be notified when the resources are released can sign up to a mailing list

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