Journeys Week 1

In film 1, we learn how Mihail was drawn into modern slavery and reflect on the experience of victims in general.

We consider the isolation; mental anguish and physical pain; the verbal abuse, injustice and abandonment that victims face. As we digest the true nature of the crime, we also hear about the importance of raising awareness and speaking up if we see something suspicious or troubling.

Watch The Journey Begins

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Film questions

- What struck you about Mihail’s story?

- How did Mihail’s journey begin? What led him into slavery? What led him out of slavery?

- Why is raising awareness so important?

- What small steps could you take in response to what you’ve seen and discussed?

Consider these images below:

  • What do these contemporary images communicate about how it feels to be a victim of modern slavery?
  • How does slavery often begin?
  • What sort of people do criminal gangs usually target?
Contemporary 1
Contemporary 2
Contemporary 3

Next steps on your journey

Three ways to deepen your understanding of modern slavery and raise awareness in your community:

  • Sign up for one of The Clewer Initiative’s one-off seminars. We have a selection of free online courses which focus on different aspects of modern slavery or are designed for different audiences. For example, we have County Lines’ seminars for teachers, foster parents and grandparents or seminars about identifying modern slavery for people involved in social action projects.
  • Spread the word! Put up posters about spotting the signs of modern slavery in shared spaces such as your local library, swimming pool and church hall.
  • Organise a seminar or film night for people in your workplace, school or business to find out more about modern slavery. Use the five Journeys mini films to prompt discussion or invite a local charity to share information about exploitation in your area.

We all have a part to play. We’re not all going to be investigators, looking into the crimes, but we can all be the eyes and ears on the ground.

Becca Faal
Diocese of Gloucester Safeguarding Officer

What is Labour Exploitation?

In the film, Mihail is forced to hand over his wages to a criminal gang. His identity documents are confiscated and he has no freedom to leave. This is an example of labour exploitation.

We asked Frank Hanson, Head of Prevention and Partnerships at the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) to explain more:

Labour exploitation is the most common form of modern slavery in the UK. Victims are forced to work for little or no pay, often under the threat of punishment. Thousands of people in the UK are potential victims of labour exploitation and are controlled by force, threats, coercion, abduction, fraud and deception.

Labour exploitation can take place in any sector. It is commonly found in a range of industries, including agriculture, food processing, construction, hand car washes, beauty, care, manufacturing and catering.

Victims may be reluctant to tell their story through fear of reprisal or not being believed, or a feeling of shame about letting themselves be treated in this way, or because they do not know their rights and the treatment they are entitled to receive.

If you see something that doesn't feel right, it probably isn't right and you should report it.

Sion Hall
Retired Deputy Chief Inspector and Chair of the Pan Lancashire Anti-Slavery Partnership

Sion’s journey

In 2017, Sion Hall, a senior detective with the Lancashire Police, was asked by the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office to use his imminent retirement to establish an Anti-Slavery Partnership. Having worked for 30 years for the police and set up the Human Trafficking Team for the county, Sion felt it was a perfect way to put his skills and experience to good use and work on something he was passionate about.

Sion became the chair of the newly formed Pan Lancashire Anti-Slavery Partnership (PLASP) and quickly began drawing in other statutory agencies, NGOs, charities and faith groups to work together. As a committed Catholic, he felt strongly about the importance of the church being closely involved with the Partnership.

PLASP meets monthly and focuses on raising awareness amongst frontline agencies, churches and community groups and the wider public, providing training and encouraging victim identification and support.

Modern slavery is all about money, greed and power and lots of it is driven by organised crime so there are significant amounts of money involved. I've been into some brothels where there's literally been bags stuffed full of cash. It's a very lucrative trade.

Sion Hall
Retired Deputy Chief Inspector


Supporting material for week 1

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