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
“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.



Modern Slavery in Ambridge – follow the developing slavery story in The Archers.

February 8th

St. Josephine Bakhita, (Patron Saints of victims of modern slavery and human trafficking). Details to follow.

February 22nd to March 7th

Fairtrade Fortnight
Fairtrade Foundation has welcomed the UK government’s new measures to hold businesses and public bodies accountable for tackling modern slavery. ‘…tougher measures are desperately needed if we are truly serious about tackling modern slavery in our supply chains.’


Lent 2021: Women in the Shadows
The Clewer Initiative has produced and released five hard-hitting mini films and an accompanying devotional course for Lent 2021.

Entitled Women in the Shadows, we are focusing on the suffering facing women and girls who are trapped in sexual exploitation, forced labour and county lines drug smuggling and the ways in which different organisations are supporting and helping victims and survivors. We hope that many churches and communities will use the films and devotional material as the focus for Lent this year.

The Course seeks to expose misunderstanding surrounding these subjects and inspire listeners to think about what they could do to make a difference. It also explores God’s heart for the poor and marginalised and our response.

Each film includes fresh and challenging insight from a range of contributors including Jen Baines (GLAA), Louise Hulland (author and campaigner), Sister Lynda Dearlove (women@thewell), Rosie Hopley (Beloved), Karen Anstiss (Caritas Bakhita House), Shayne Tyler (Fresca Group), Clive Davies (Chief Superintendent, East Surrey Police), Bill Crooks (Mosaic Creative), Bishop Alastair Redfern and a representative from Hestia. We are also working with acclaimed writer, April De Angelis and a team of actresses to write and dramatise four survivor testimonies that will help audiences understand the true horror of modern slavery.

The devotional material for each week of Lent includes a short Bible study, reflection and prayer and is written by Bishop Alastair Redfern, Rev Edwina Fennemore, Rev Caroline Pinchbeck, Bishop Simon Burton-Jones and Canon Jane Brooke.

Further information is available here.


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

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.

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.