On the 8th September 2017 the House of Lords debated the Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill [HL], a private member’s bill from Lord McColl. The Bishop of Derby, Rt Revd Alastair Redfern, spoke in support of the Bill:
The Lord Bishop of Derby: My Lords, I too thank the noble Lord, Lord McColl, for his persistence and inspiration in keeping this on the agenda and bringing this Bill before us today.
I declare a number of interests. I was on the Select Committee that helped to craft the legislation, which was a good foundation—but all the evidence shows, and some of us realised this at the time, that it needs to be developed with further investment, as we learned from victims and the adjustments of the police and other statutory authorities. I declare an interest, too, as chairman of the advisory panel of the Independent Anti-slavery Commissioner, to whom the noble Lord, Lord McColl, referred and who is doing some amazing work, helping us to see where the foundations can be strengthened and developed. Continue reading “Bishop of Derby supports Bill to help victims of modern slavery”
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.
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?
Continue reading “Bishop of Chelmsford praises Government work on modern slavery; urges partnership with churches”
On 19th January 2017 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered questions in the House of Commons from MPs on Israel/Palestine, human trafficking, prisons, social media, low carbon economy, tourism and lead theft. The transcript is below:
Continue reading “Church Commissioner questions: Israel/Palestine, human trafficking, prisons, social media, low carbon economy, tourism, lead theft”
On 8th July 2016 the House of Lords considered the Modern Slavery (Transparency in Supply Chains) Bill [HL], a Private Members’ Bill from Baroness Young of Hornsey. The Bishop of Derby spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Derby: My Lords, I too thank and congratulate the noble Baroness, Lady Young, and support these suggestions. I declare an interest in that I am the chairman of the advisory panel to the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner and am therefore, among other things, quite heavily involved in some of these issues.
My first point is that the Modern Slavery Act recognised very clearly the importance of information, which gives power. If you hide information, people get the wrong kind of power to behave badly. Besides trying to press companies to behave well and have good practices, we need to remind ourselves that this is not simply to fight on behalf of victims—although that is of course the priority—but to fight against serious organised crime, which in itself is a very successful business model that is expanding all the time, as we speak. It is therefore in the interests of proper companies to help us all to push back against criminal business behaviour, which has these appalling human consequences and is also enormously damaging to the health of our economy and the well-being of business more generally. Continue reading “Modern Slavery (Transparency in Supply Chains) Bill [HL] – speech by Bishop of Derby”
On 7th July 2016 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question from Jim Shannon MP on human trafficking:
Jim Shannon (Strangford): To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps are being taken by the Church of England to tackle human trafficking.
Mrs Caroline Spelman: In March 2014 the Archbishop of Canterbury, with Pope Francis and other global faith leaders, gave their backing to the Global Freedom Network (www.globalfreedomnetwork.org), a ground breaking ecumenical initiative to combat modern slavery and human trafficking. The Archbishop is planning an international conference in 2017 with the Ecumenical Patriarch. Continue reading “Church Commissioner Written Answer: Human Trafficking”
On 7th July 2016 Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP answered questions from MPs in the House of Commons, in her capacity as Second Church Estates Commissioner. Questions were asked on out of school settings, human trafficking, women bishops, bishops in the House of Lords, poverty and church toilets.
Mr Speaker: Order. We come now to questions to the Second Church Estates Commissioner, the right hon. Member for Meriden (Mrs Spelman), representing the Church Commissioners, and to the right hon. Member for South West Devon—[Interruption.] I mean the hon. Member for South West Devon (Mr Streeter)—it is only a matter of time—representing the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission.
The right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners was asked— Continue reading “Church Commissioner questions: Out of school settings, human trafficking, women bishops, House of Lords, poverty, church toilets”
On Wednesday 15th June 2016 the House of Lords debated the Report from the European Union Committee The EU Action Plan against migrant smuggling (4th Report, Session 2015–16, HL Paper 46). The Bishop of Sheffield, Rt Revd Steven Croft, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Sheffield: My Lords, I welcome the two reports before us in all their complexity and I thank the members of the European Union Committee for their expertise, which is already evident in this debate. I particularly welcome the committee’s recommendation in paragraph 8 that the mandate of Operation Sophia is reviewed and renewed, along with the EU’s subsequent decisions. Clearly, this operation alone cannot be the complete answer to the challenges that we face. However, the European Union must not return to the position that it held before the Lampedusa tragedy of apparent indifference to those who seek to cross the Mediterranean in danger of their lives. Nor can we neglect the spread of people-smuggling on and across our borders. Continue reading “Bishop of Sheffield speaks on Church response to the migrant crisis”