Human trafficking may not feel like a pressing issue in the UK, but a growing number of Christians in Wales are lobbying, praying and meeting to bring an end to this terrible practice.
This is in line with the lead taken by the Welsh Government, appointing an Anti Human Trafficking Co-ordinator for Wales last year.
As a result of this escalating interest, the annual conference of Gweini – the Council of the Christian Voluntary Sector in Wales - will be on the subject on Saturday 3 November in Cardiff. Wales Against Human Trafficking will be a gathering place for individuals, churches and other organisations who want to network and find out more.
The keynote address entitled Human Trafficking – it can’t be in Wales? will be given by Huw Watkins, a former senior detective with Gwent Police who started the Gwent Consultation Group on Human Trafficking in 2010.
This group has been praised by the head of the UK Human Trafficking Centre for its work in tackling trafficking, and relies on many organisations working together, sharing knowledge and information.
Through the group, Watkins has been able to deliver human trafficking awareness sessions to over 1000 professionals, volunteers and students across Wales.
A range of other speakers will also lead seminars and share different ways in which they are getting involved. These topics will include how to raise awareness among young people in schools and the outreach work being done by Cardiff churches among sex workers in the Welsh capital.
Jim Stewart from Evangelical Alliance Wales said: “Human trafficking is a tragedy of modern times and it is estimated that up to 27 million people are currently victims of human trafficking worldwide.
"However, the desire among Christians to respond to this injustice has been growing tremendously in recent years and this conference will hopefully capture that passion and enable those present to see what they can do to make a difference in people’s lives.”
“We are expecting a large crowd but there are still a few places left, so I would urge anyone who’s interested to book soon so as not to be disappointed.”
Wales Against Human Trafficking will be held on Saturday November 3rd 2012 at Glenwood Church, Circle Way West, Cardiff CF23 6UW from 10:00 – 15:30 (Registration from 9:30). Cost is £5 each (or £4 each for bookings of 6+).
To reserve a place (or places), make out a cheque payable to “Gweini” and send it to Gweini, PO Box 601, Cardiff CF10 1YR
If you plan to attend, go the conference Facebook page
Human Trafficking – it can’t be in Wales?
Published 17 October 2012 | Gethin Russell-Jones