Caring for our World: Partnering with Hope for Justice
Earlier this year Valley Church began a partnership with Hope for Justice. They are a Christian organisation whose purpose is to bring an end to modern slavery by preventing exploitation, rescuing victims, restoring lives and reforming society.
The sad truth is that there are more people in slavery today than at any other time in history. Easier travel and online connectivity means there is greater opportunity for exploitation and an increased of trade in people, through increasingly complex criminal gangs. Demand for the production of cheap goods means that any one of us could be using products which have involved the slave trade at some stage of its process.
There are many cases of modern slavery here in the UK. As well as operating on a global scale, Hope for Justice works very closely with our local police force and agencies to identify and support victims of this horrendous crime. They have been involved in providing training and support to local hoteliers to spot the signs of exploitation, and they provide support for the many victims that are identified across Lancashire, the North West and throughout the UK.
Here at Valley Church we have been active in raising awareness around modern slavery. In previous years we have helped to organise Preston’s Walk for Freedom which has highlighted the ongoing issue of human trafficking both locally and around the world. This is how our partnership with Hope for Justice began, as we felt called to begin to support local initiatives and to connect with the work happening throughout the UK.
We now give regularly to the work of Hope for Justice. We are committed to praying for the work that they are doing across the world and specifically here in the UK. We are developing links so that in the future our involvement in terms of practical support and restoration may grow.
We all have a crucial role to play in ending modern slavery. On the Hope for Justice website you can find more information about what the organisation do, alongside information about spotting the signs of modern slavery and how to respond to any concerns you may have. You can also pray for all those involved in the work of Hope for Justice and the victims and survivors they seek to reach, and support them financially, all at hopeforjustice.org.
PREVENTING EXPLOITATION: Hope for Justice have outreach teams, self-help groups and community education initiatives aimed at empowering people to protect themselves and their families from traffickers and their recruiters.
RESCUING VICTIMS: Hope for Justice Investigators work closely with police and other agencies to identify victims of modern slavery; they work to develop a trusting relationship so they can be removed from exploitation.
RESTORING LIVES: Hope for Justice provide victim-centred support, including help to access housing, benefits, employment, mental health support and legal assistance to those removed from exploitation.
REFORMING SOCIETY: Hope for Justice provide training for frontline professionals so that they are able to recognise and respond effectively to concerns around modern slavery. They support businesses to ensure that their operations and supply chains are slave free.
In the UK, Hope for Justice coordinate the National Anti-Trafficking and Modern Slavery Network; this brings together Police and Crime Commissioners from across England and Wales, the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner and representatives from the National Police Chiefs Council and the Home Office Modern Slavery Unit to improve collaboration and the nationwide response to modern slavery in all its forms.