Safeguarding and modern slavery

Modern slavery and human trafficking are forms of abuse and as such requires a safeguarding response.

DCI Kerry Loveless of Surrey Police explains why good safeguarding matters

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Modern slavery is a crime that all too often is hidden in plain sight. It comes in many forms and is present in every community.

It is understood that modern slavery and exploitative practice is most likely to occur where the individual is vulnerable through life circumstance, usually linked to poverty. The Church understands that caring for the vulnerable is part of their mission and organises itself to provide care for those in difficult situations.

In addition, Churches and faith organisations are present in a community and as a result are more likely to encounter vulnerable people who are either victims of modern slavery or at risk of being exploited. This might be at a food bank as traffickers use them to feed their victims at no cost to themselves, or it could be a youth group where a young person might be a risk of being entrapped in county lines. With churches having a key role in a community, it’s important to know how to identify and respond to cases of modern slavery and exploitation.

Modern slavery and human trafficking are forms of abuse and as such requires a safeguarding response. Like all concerns of abuse, cases involving modern slavery should fit into the existing safeguarding approach of Recognise, Respond, Record and Refer.

Parish Safeguarding Newsletter

The Clewer Initiative publishes a newsletter update every two months for Parish Safeguarding Officers. This provides information on our latest work, resources and training courses, equipping PSOs to recognise and respond to modern slavery in their local community.

Safeguarding training

To support you in your role we run regular free sessions on safeguarding and modern slavery.

Our training aims to:

  • Inform those responsible for safeguarding in church settings/ worshipping communities about best practice in responding to modern slavery and exploitation
  • Equip participants with the information and knowledge to ensure that projects run safely and victims are supported
  • Inform participants on the role of The Clewer Initiative
  • Discuss how we can support and work together to ensure a consistent approach.

Our training is open to anyone but we strongly encourage those with a safeguarding remit or those involved with a social action project to attend one of our sessions. You can also take the Modern Slavery and Human trafficking module on the Church of England's Safeguarding Portal and learn at your own pace.

Available training sessions

  • Refugees, safeguarding and modern slavery
  • Safeguarding and modern slavery for diocesan safeguarding teams
  • Safeguarding and modern slavery for project leads
  • Safeguarding and modern slavery for food banks
  • County lines training for diocesan safeguarding teams
  • Safeguarding and modern slavery for parish safeguarding officers
Safeguarding and modern slavery
Modern Slavery and Safeguarding e-learning course

Learn at your own pace

An interactive course is in two parts that explores the role of churches in raising awareness and taking action against modern slavery as well as how we engage with concerns. Throughout the session you will gain an understanding of modern slavery and human trafficking and you will learning how to recognise, respond, refer and record concerns.


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