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

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.