Diocese of Portsmouth

Modern Slavery

40.3 million people are being exploited worldwide

(The Global Slavery Index)

600,000-800,000 people are trafficked across international borders each year

(UN Office on Drugs and Crime)

1 in 4 victims of modern slavery are children

(International Labour organisation)

Modern slavery is a term that includes any form of human trafficking, slavery, servitude or forced labour, as set out in the Modern Slavery Act 2015. Human trafficking is defined as a process that is a combination of three basic components:

  1. Movement (including within the UK)
  2. Control, through harm/threat of harm or fraud
  3. For the purpose of exploitation

Potential victims of modern slavery in the UK that come to the attention of authorised ‘first responder’ organisations are referred to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM)

National Referral Mechanism Statistics

In 2019, 10,627 potential victims of modern slavery were referred to the NRM; a 52% increase from 2018.

Just over half of referrals were for individuals who claimed they were exploited as adults, whilst 43% were for individuals who claimed they were exploited as minors.

The most common type of exploitation for both adults and minors was labour exploitation.

Potential victims from the UK, Albania and Vietnam were the three most common nationalities to be referred in the NRM.

UK, Quarter 1 2020 – January to March

In quarter 1 2020, 2,871 potential victims of modern slavery were referred to the NRM; a 14% decrease from the previous quarter, but a 33% increase from the same quarter in 2019.

Potential cases referred to Hampshire Constabulary increased to 195 in 2019 against 144 in 2018.

The top 5 countries of origin for adult victims in the UK (taken from the National Referral Mechanism Statistics- End of Year Summary 2019 (National Crime Agency)

  1. Albania
  2. China
  3. UK
  4. India
  5. Vietnam

The top 5 countries of origin for child victims in the UK (taken from the National Referral Mechanism Statistics- End of Year Summary 2019 (National Crime Agency)

  1. UK
  2. Vietnam
  3. Eritrea
  4. Albania
  5. Sudan
The Modern Slavery and Exploitation Helpline: 08000 121700

Anti-slavery Day 2020: October 18th

Rev Edwina Fennemore, Liaison Lead Against Modern Slavery for the dioceses of Portsmouth and Winchester, will be preaching at Winchester Cathedral at 10am on October 18th – Anti-slavery Day. It will be an opportunity to remember the many victims of modern slavery and join the fight against it. You can watch the service online here.

Anti-Slavery Day provides an important opportunity to remember the many victims of modern slavery and join the fight against it. To mark Anti-Slavery Day 2020, we have put together a list of practical things you can do today to make a difference:

    Start talking to friends, family, neighbours and colleagues about modern slavery.
    The Clewer Initiative posters are easily downloadable and printable. Where could you display them? Do you have access to a church building or community noticeboard?
    There are lots of interesting books written about modern slavery. Why not ask your friends if they would read Louise Hulland’s recently published book Stolen Lives with you?
    With the Safe Car Wash or Farm Work Welfare app always at hand, you will be able to report any suspicious signs if you see them
    This innovative tool from slaveryfootprint.org helps you understand more about your slavery footprint

Purchase a face covering from The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army are standing in solidarity with victims of modern slavery on Anti-Slavery Day – Sunday 18th October 2020. They will be launching the #WeAreNotForSale campaign to help raise awareness and essential funds towards their Victim Care Fund, through selling special edition #WeAreNotForSale face masks.

How you can help and show your support:

  1. Buy a face mask online
    Visit SP&S and purchase your face mask for £5.99 (includes P&P). All profits from the sale of the face masks will go directly to the Victim Care Fund. Please allow 3-5 days for delivery.
  2. Share your photos online, add our frame to your Facebook profile and download our digital toolkit
    Take a selfie, express your support and share your photos on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #WeAreNotForSale and tagging The Salvation Army UK. You can also join the campaign on Facebook by adding our #WeAreNotForSale20 frame to your profile picture.’

Bishop Alastair Redfern is Chair of the Clewer Initiative and a Co-Founder of The Global Sustainability Network.

For many people Slavery is something that happens elsewhere, to other people. The Christian Gospel recognises that all human beings face the temptation to become enslaved to sin and selfishness. Modern Slavery is driven by the demand of consumers for cheap, personalised goods and services. The focus is on benefit to the purchaser, with little attention paid to the plight of the providers. Through this indifference the criminal exploitation of vulnerable people is allowed to grow.

This book explores the challenge to consumers, citizens and victims – both to recognise our capacity for richer ways of caring for each other, and to discover the ways in which the Christian Gospel becomes Good News through its tangible effects on the exploited and unnoticed.

Here Bishop Christopher gives a review of Slavery and Salvation:

Slavery and Salvation

Alastair Redfern

Slavery and Salvation, by Alastair RedfernBishop Alastair Redfern latest book continues his commitment to the fight against the cruelty and sin of Modern Slavery’s exploitation of vulnerable people with his theological insights into the ways in which the Christian Gospel speaks into – or rather confronts – the evils of slavery in our midst today.

This is a short book, with barely a hundred pages, which in 5 Parts and 10 Chapters invites the reader to engage with the four questions for further reflection which end each chapter. There are equally useful as prompts for small group discussions. These will be very useful for parishes considering how to engage further with modern slavery issues.

Hardly a word is wasted in the insights offered, and the bible references, which give this apparently modest book weight and importance.

Exploring first the ways in which scripture and tradition have shaped human understanding of slavery, Bishop Alastair challenges the church, which so often tends ‘to adopt the approach of the therapeutic world’ and offer chaplaincy and support, to recognise that this alone does not address the structural and institutional basis for modern slavery.

The need for more radical thinking and action is taken up in Part Two where he reflects on the choices we face as Christians in taking the way of Jesus’ cross and putting the needs of others first. Here there is a sharp analysis of the impact on society of being demand-led in market economies which cultivate and concentrate purchase, pleasure and possession.

Part 3 explores the importance of the victim in the Christian story, where the powerlessness of the crucified victim slave is the source of new life and resurrection.

Very helpfully Part 4, Gospel Resources, invites us to consider what we, the local church, can do to change ourselves and our society through accepting injustice (the way of the cross) in countless small ways. Bishop Alastair reminds us of the ‘eternal significance of every act of such discipleship’. Slavery can be the key to opening the way to salvation.

Finally, in a brief conclusion, comes the sharpest challenge to the Christian Church today. Bishop Alastair suggests that, to some extent at least, our understanding of church needs to be broken open. ‘Discipleship does not depend upon being converted into set practices, but rather becomes a radical engagement with the slaves of society in the power of the Slave on the cross.’

I hope I have indicated that this is a very rich short book. It was for me stretching and challenging, confronting me with big questions about our Christian responses – personal and together – to the forces which enable such hideous slavery to flourish around and among us, often hidden in plain sight.

The challenge now for all of us, is to consider where this may take us on our discipleship journey.

Bishop Christopher Foster

“We have a commitment to enable all people to flourish not merely to exist, to consider what serving better the needs of others will look like in our respective communities and to live out being a witness as the Body of Christ in the world today.”

Rev Edwina Fennemore
Liaison Lead Against Modern Slavery, Diocese of Portsmouth & Winchester

What we’re doing

  • Archbishop Justin Welby committed himself publicly to the battle to end modern slavery – Find out what he said.
  • We are a member of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Modern Slavery Partnership. The strategy to tackle Modern Slavery in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight has been developed in line with the Government’s Modern Slavery Strategy:
    1. Pursue – Prosecute and disrupt individuals and groups responsible for slavery
    2. Prevent – Prevent people from engaging in slavery
    3. Protect – Strengthen safeguards against slavery by protecting vulnerable people from exploitation and increasing awareness of and resilience against this crime
    4. Prepare – Reduce the harm caused by slavery through improved victim identification and support

  • Portsmouth Diocese continues as a Participating Member of The Clewer Initiative as it moves into the next phase. The Clewer Initiative has secured funding for a further 10 years, 2020-2030. It is therefore moving from a 3-year project into a period of sustained awareness raising, and action at a local, national and international level. There will be opportunities for new partnerships and further opportunities to build upon the solid foundation that has already been achieved. This is good news as it enables existing resources around awareness raising and opportunities for victim/ survivor support to continue with further support and new resources from the national team. Modern slavery touches all aspects of our lives, so whether it’s from a consumer perspective related to the supply chain of what we eat, the clothes we wear, the materials that support our lifestyle, to issues associated to climate change, partnering with established modern slavery victim support charities or starting some awareness locally, there is plenty to engage with.

Clewer, coronavirus and modern slavery, March 2020

Modern Slavery PartnershipThe Hampshire and Isle of Wight Modern Slavery Partnership is committed to working to identify and support victims of slavery and to bring the perpetrators to justice. The partnership uses Anti-Slavery Day to raise awareness of slavery and some of the key signs that someone may be being exploited and how to report any concerns.

County Lines Lent Course – #Spareathought

County Lines exploitation, one of the most prevalent forms of modern slavery in our country, affects thousands of vulnerable children and young people every year, yet many people are unaware of it or ill-equipped to spot it.

Our aim through this six-week Lent course is to help people reflect on what the Bible says about injustice, oppression, suffering, God’s heart for the poor and the church’s role in protecting victims. We also hope to provide practical information about County Lines exploitation and equip people to identify children who could be targeted by drug traffickers. By the end of the course, we hope to inspire people to consider how they can support victims and build resilient communities that discourage this form of modern slavery.

The Lent course is easy to follow and jam-packed with accessible resources, fact sheets, real life stories and guided activities. Each session consists of:

  • an opening biblical quote and prayer,
  • a story or animation,
  • discussion,
  • passage from the Bible,
  • reflection from Bishop Alastair Redfern, founder of The Clewer Initiative,
  • final prayer,
  • background reading and action points.

We have also produced a range of shareable graphics for use on social media. We will be posting regularly on Facebook and Twitter throughout Lent and encourage you to share our posts or create your own. All the course resources can be found online. We pray that many people will be able to use the Course during the period of Lent to learn, reflect, pray and take action. Please pass this information on to any interested parties and consider sharing the link on your social media platforms – we long to spread the word about the course so as many people as possible can benefit from the resource and join us in fighting modern slavery and in particular, County Lines exploitation.

Bishop Christopher endorses the #spareathought Lent Course by The Clewer Initiative

The Safe Car Wash app

The  Safe Car Wash app has been developed to allow the general public to engage with the problem, it is a new tool that will enable the largest community intelligence gathering exercise ever attempted in the United Kingdom.

Download the free app onto your smartphone and then when you are using a hand car wash, simply open the app and complete a short survey about the working conditions of the car wash.

The Modern Slavery Partnership has released its strategy for 2020-2023, forwarded by Michael Lane (Police and Crime Commissioner - Serving Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton) it covers four key strategic objectives:

  • Raise awareness of modern slavery (SO1, Page 6).
  • Combat Modern slavery by working in partnership (SO2, Page 7)
    - including The Clewer Initiative.
  • Identify and support victims or modern slavery (SO3, Page 8).
  • Pursue perpetrators of modern slavery (SO4, Page 9).

On Sunday 7th April, 2019, the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab released a report on the use and effectiveness of the Safe Car Wash app since its launch. We’ve made available a summary presentation (in PowerPoint and PDF formats) for download.

The Lead Liaison for our diocese is

Rev Edwina Fennemore
Edwina is the Lead Liaison for our diocese and our link to the Clewer Initiative.


If you, are interested in becoming involved in the development, and with the implementation of the strategy, or would like more information about how you can get involved locally, please do get in touch via email.


This infographic is brought to you by Slavery in Britain - Telegraph.
This infographic is brought to you by Slavery in Britain - Telegraph.