Bishop of Chelmsford praises Government work on modern slavery; urges partnership with churches

On 11th July 2017 in response to a Government statement on the G20 in Hamburg, the Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell asked a question about the Government’s approach to human trafficking, highlighting church initiatives.

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Lord Bishop of Chelmsford: My Lords I thank the noble Baroness for the Statement and the Government’s continued commitment to tackling modern-day slavery. I am particularly grateful for the commitment to cultivate a radically new global and co-ordinated approach to this problem, which traps 46 million people in conditions that deprive them of their God-given dignity. Can the Minister give an assurance that they will put the victim at the centre of this new global approach and that it will enlist the support and help of the Churches’ global networks, which are already beginning to mobilise through the Santa Martha group and the Clewer initiative to condemn this abomination, which Pope Francis has rightly called a crime against humanity?

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park: I thank the right reverend Prelate. Tackling human trafficking and modern slavery remains a top priority of this Government. We are very grateful for all the work that the Church does internationally in this important area. The leaders of the G20 countries agreed with the Prime Minister that we need to take immediate and effective measures to eliminate modern slavery, child labour and forced labour from global supply chains, and we called on our G20 partners to follow our lead in working with businesses at home to ensure that they report any modern slavery in their supply chains. As the Statement made clear, this is a personal priority of the Prime Minister and one that she will continue to push among our G20 colleagues.