The Bishop’s Council have accepted the first Modern Slavery Statement for the diocese, drafted by Christians in Leicester and Leicestershire Against Modern Slavery (CLLAMS), a sub-group of the Social Responsibility Panel.
The Modern Slavery Statement covers how the Diocesan Board of Finance mitigates the risk of modern slavery in its supply chains, the Diocesan Safeguarding Team’s process for handling concerns about possible victims of modern slavery, and the diocese’s ethical investment policy. You can read the Modern Slavery Statement in full here.
The Business Team which support St Martin’s Conference Centre and St Martin’s Lodge, for example, have committed to reviewing the Modern Slavery Statements of their major suppliers, to issue a modern slavery risk assessment questionnaire to these companies and any new suppliers as part of the onboarding process.
St Martin’s House Conference Centre and St Martin’s Lodge have also been accredited by the Good Business Charter, which means they have a proven commitment to paying the real living wage; offering fair hours and contracts; ethical sourcing; environmental responsibility; supporting employee wellbeing, and diversity and inclusion.
Speaking to Bishop’s Council, Alison Adams, Canon at Leicester Cathedral and member of CLLAMS, said: “Modern Slavery Statements like this are very much milestones on a journey – there is always more that we can do.”
“For example, other organisations within the Diocese, not just St Martin’s House, could commit to reviewing their supply chains for modern slavery. We could roll out modern slavery awareness and county lines training more widely across our parishes, social action projects and schools. And, as individuals, there is always more we can do as consumers to use our spending power to make the world a better, more just place.”
Caroline Emberson, Chair of CLLAMS, adds: “Items which have a higher risk of being produced with exploited labour include everyday commodities such as coffee, tea, chocolate and clothes, and sectors such as hospitality, construction, seasonal farm work and social care. “
“If your church is having building work done, are you sure that the labourers are being fairly paid? Are the refreshments you serve after services Fairtrade? And are you confident talking to the children and young people about county lines?”
“Trying to tackle modern slavery and human trafficking may feel overwhelming. But there are small practical steps which all of us can take.”
Actions you might want to consider to take a stand against modern slavery include:
- Sign up for one of the Clewer Initiative’s online courses
- If you support a food bank, make sure there are posters about the signs of modern slavery and human trafficking displayed as well as information about the support available (The Clewer Initiative has some resources here)
- If you have any concerns about a possible case of modern slavery, call the Modern Slavery Helpline, 08000 121 700. You can also make a report to our Safeguarding team.
- Consider joining our ecumenical Facebook group, Christians in Leicester and Leicestershire Against Modern Slavery
- Invite a member of CLLAMS to speak at your church