The number of modern slavery cases continues to increase every year suggesting that the problem continues to be hidden.
We are keen to raise awareness of the presence of modern slavery, how to spot the signs and signpost victims to our and other support services. To this end we are working with the Archdiocese of Birmingham on an awareness raising project called the Look Up Project.
The Look Up Project is a six-year partnership between the Medaille Trust and the Archdiocese of Birmingham. It started raising awareness of modern Slavery in 2019 with several talks in churches in the West Midlands. Several churches and individuals pledged support for victims. However, the project’s progress was curtailed by Covid-19 the following year. In February 2022, the project was relaunched by Archbishop Bernard Longley and Medaille CEO Garry Smith.
We speak in churches in the West Midlands to make people aware of Modern Slavery and join in efforts to support victims. There are over 136,000 victims of Modern Slavery in the UK. The Home Office says the West Midlands is the second highest area for referrals of possible victims of slavery outside of London. West Midlands Police estimates that there are over 4,200 victims of Modern Slavery in the region.
We also use traditional media and social media to raise awareness of Modern Slavery and call for action to stop trafficking and the exploitation of vulnerable people. We also use these media platforms to raise awareness of our support services for those fleeing the clutches of modern slavery criminals.
We are also currently working with about 17 other organisations as part of The Coalition to Stop Slavery to plan awareness raising and lobbying initiatives.
“The problem is not in the opposite lane: it involves us. We are not permitted to look elsewhere and declare our ignorance or our innocence.”
Pope Francis on Modern Slavery, May 2018