THE WOMEN’S GROUP LEARN ABOUT MODERN DAY SLAVERY AND TRAFFICKING
On Wednesday 2nd May the Women’s Group had a very interesting and awareness raising talk from Sheena Field, a local representative of the Christian charity, (and teacher at St Mary’s High School) The Medaille Trust which works together with other agencies, especially The Salvation Army, to help victims of our country who have been caught up in slavery and human trafficking.
Sheena began by giving us some alarming statistics indicating the rise of slavery and human trafficking in our country and saying that the true figures of victims may never be known.
She also said that many victims are initially discovered by members of the public noticing suspicious activities and that we can help by passing on concerns to either Crimestoppers or the police non -emergency number 101.
Some indicators of human trafficking which we all should be aware of are as follows:
Signs of physical or psychological abuse, being malnourished, unkempt and withdrawn.
People rarely being allowed to travel on their own and being unfamiliar with their neighbourhood or where they work.
Dirty cramped accommodation, living and working at the same address,
No ID documents and very few personal possessions.
Always wearing the same dirty clothes.
Being dropped off for work very early or late at night.
We also learned that many victims are transported from place to place in suspicious looking white vans, often door knocking for work, working on farms picking fruit and vegetables and in factories doing unskilled work.
Many victims can end up working in nail bars and also in forced prostitution.
The Medaille Trust is the largest provider of Safe House accommodation to victims of modern slavery in our country and has several safe houses in different parts of the country where victims can be helped and given any medical and mental health support that they may need to help with their rehabilitation.
I know that hearing from Sheena certainly gave us food for thought and an awareness that there could be human traffickers very close to home.
Our next meeting is on Wednesday 6th June at 7pm in the Parish Room when Stephanie Parkes is coming again to talk to us about living in the Caribbean.
All ladies are welcome to join us.