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Modern Slavery – from Lambeth Palace to a Norfolk train

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It was great to once again be at the Clewer Initiative’s annual gathering last month at Lambeth Palace. Highlights included hearing from Justine Currell from Unseen, who reported that 7121 potential victims of modern slavery have so far been picked up through the Modern Slavery Helpline (08000 121 700)

However it was something else which really brought the extent of modern slavery home to me that day. As I sat on the train home, I was joined by 3 men who were also headed back to Norfolk from London. We got chatting and they asked me where I had been and I explained I had been at a conference about modern slavery. At this one of the men moved over to sit next to me and proceeded to spill his story of homelessness and being lured into forced labour where he experienced awful working and living conditions.

Hearing about modern slavery at conferences is great, but sometimes I forget about the reality of it on my doorstep. I’m grateful for this encounter on the train for reminding me of what a close and real evil modern slavery is, and why organisations like The Clewer Initiative which work to raise awareness are so much needed, to help others like me look out for modern slavery and know how to respond when we encounter it.

If you suspect a case of modern slavery please ring the modern slavery helpline on 08000 121 700