Training days to combat human trafficking

The Catholic Church is running training days focused on human trafficking.

The first day was held just before Christmas and brought together representatives from London dioceses, the Apostleship of the Sea, and the Specialist Crime Directorate of the Metropolitan Police.

The training days are being run by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales in conjunction with the International Office for Migration.

Cecilia Taylor-Camara, Senior Policy Adviser at the Office for Migration Policy: "This training marks the beginning of a journey in our dioceses and parishes of England and Wales as we embrace the challenge of learning more about this modern day slavery in all its forms and as we begin to fight for its eradication in our communities."

The training days offer a theoretical and practical approach to tackling human trafficking through case studies, group work and real examples of trafficking in the UK.

Sr Vitalis Cibo, from the Daughters of Mary, Mother of Mercy: "We have sisters in Benin in Nigeria who work specifically in the area of trafficking and that's the reason why I came to the training today.

"I now know that there is help available and that we can do something. My intention after today's training is to tell my sisters and to look at ways in which we can do more."

The training days teach participants how to identify potential victims and facilitate referrals into appropriate care and support facilities.

The modules break down the causes of human trafficking, the legal framework, and the challenges in its prevention.

The Church is hoping its global networks can be utilised to raise awareness of the crime and provide support to victims.

Roger Stone, Port Chaplain for the Apostleship of the Sea, based in Southampton: "It's particularly useful to meet other people who are involved in helping people who are victims or potential victims of human trafficking and also to have the concrete contact details for the relevant government agencies."

The next training day will be in spring 2013 and is open to Diocesan Coordinators with responsibility for migration and for agencies working with victims of trafficking.

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