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Nepal workshop boosts global anti-human trafficking efforts

Nepal workshop boosts global anti-human trafficking efforts

Nepal workshop boosts global anti-human trafficking efforts

22 September 2016

Globally, The Salvation Army is focused on breaking the chains of millions caught up in human trafficking. 

By Simone Worthing

“The Salvation Army is part of a global movement and across our world, people are being trafficked,” said Amanda Merrett, Assistant to the Social Justice Secretary in The Salvation Army Australia Southern Territory.

Amanda has just returned from a week in Nepal where she attended an anti-human trafficking workshop with Salvation Army and Anglican Alliance delegates. “As the Day of Prayer for victims of human trafficking approaches [25 September] we need to pray for their safety and their freedom, because prayer works,” she said.

Amanda’s role focuses on raising awareness of human trafficking and slavery-like practices, and educating corps and communities on what trafficking looks like and what can be done to prevent it. The territory also supports “Sisters” – a café and beauty salon in Kathmandu, Nepal, that trains victims and potential victims of human trafficking and gives them skills to earn a living and avoid being re-trafficked or caught up in this massive global scourge.

“The workshop allowed me to network with other delegates, and as churches intentionally focused on anti-human trafficking campaigns,” said Amanda. “We looked at modern slavery and what it looks like in different contexts as well as mapped local experiences. Throughout the workshop this huge map was on the wall showing where people were trafficked from and to, and in what form. It was a bit overwhelming at times and we had to remind ourselves that we are here to prevent his happening and work with those who are victims of it.”

The workshop also examined best practices in the field, and supply and demand – what takes people into trafficking and what keeps people there. Delegates broke up into groups and discussed different forms of trafficking, such as sex, labour and organ trafficking, and policies that can be applied to address the demand that fuels this trade.

“This framework was extremely helpful in terms of understanding human trafficking,” said Amanda. “This framework, as well as the knowledge and grassroots experiences shared by different delegates from around the world, is now a ‘toolbox’ that we can use in our campaigns wherever we are located.”

Amanda is passionate about strengthening the churches’ response to human trafficking, both locally and globally. “Something we can all do, right now, is look at what we are purchasing, and whether we are creating a demand for trafficking because of the supply chain involved in the things we buy,” she explained. “I also want to consider training people in recognising the signs of human trafficking and modern slavery in everyday life, and how to respond to them. We do a good job of educating people and raising awareness of prevention. I just want to grow and strengthen this.”

Globally, The Salvation Army has an anti-human trafficking international task force that is focused on promoting, encouraging, supporting and coordinating an anti-human trafficking response within The Salvation Army around the world.

Jenny Stanger, National Manager of The Salvation Army's Freedom Partnership to End Modern Slavery, said: "The international task force initiative will ensure there is increased awareness, coordination and shared learning from the many anti-slavery initiatives The Salvation Army is delivering across the globe. We are pleased to be making a contribution and keen to support any developments in the Asia-Pacific - a region with a high prevalence of slavery." 

For more information on The Salvation Army’s response to human trafficking and how to get involved, go to: sarmy.org.au/en/Social/JustSalvos/Issues/Human-Trafficking/ and endslavery.salvos.org.au/

For information on how different countries around the world respond to human trafficking, go to: state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/countries/2015/index.htm

 

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