As the nation’s capital and biggest city, there are a huge amount of victims of modern slavery going through London, either on the way to be exploited somewhere else or as a end point for their exploitation. In 2017, 5145 potential victims of modern slavery were found in the UK, 1608 of them were discovered in London.
London’s churches have a huge role to play in spotting the signs of modern slavery, and caring for the victims.
As Bishop Sarah explained when she announced the Diocese of London’s 2019 Lent Appeal for Modern Slavery:
There are at least 40 million victims of modern day slavery in the world today, and tens of thousands in the UK. In one of the wealthiest countries in the world, in a capital city heralded for its history and culture, modern slavery is thriving. Thousands are forced into domestic servitude, forced labour or sexual exploitation in plain sight of Londoners, and many more are at risk of falling through the cracks, hidden from the view of the authorities, charities and the church. Behind those statistics there are real people. Whether it be a woman or girl trafficked to work in the illegal sex trade, a man forced to work on a construction site or a child married against their will, none are free.
The Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, Bishop of London