Report launch: faith responses to modern slavery

24 January 2020

We are pleased to launch our initial findings report ‘Faith responses to modern slavery’ at our conference in Sheffield, Friday 24 January 2020.

The report argues that there is no one ‘Christian response’ to modern slavery, the picture is complex. A mapping of anti-modern slavery organisations and parliamentary debates reveals that faith actors and faith-based organisations (FBOs) represent around 30% of analysed responses to modern slavery.

Evidence that FBOs working within the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) are riddled with direct evangelism and proselytism was not found, though credible reports were articulated of this occuring in isolated parts of the NRM and in peripheral pre- or post-NRM support.

People exiting modern slavery were confident in seeking out religious worship for themselves, underlining the potential damage of trying to shape religious identities in support contexts.

The report offers a summary findings from three parts of our multi-method study: a mapping of anti-modern slavery organisations and faith actors in Parliament; case studies of support organisations; and interviews with people receiving support.

We recommend that everyone working to support people exiting modern slavery ensure they implement the Slavery and Trafficking Survivor Care Standards (Human Trafficking Foundation), including standard 1.1.5 on Freedom of Thought, Religion and Belief.

Faith responses to modern slavery 2020 Uni Sheffield and Leeds (PDF, 992KB)