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Sheffield Methodist Women

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Meg wrote the following piece for the Sheffield Methodists Women’s Newsletter.


Congratulations to the Sheffield Methodist Women’s Newsletter on its 20th Birthday! 


I understand this special issue is focussing on human trafficking for sexual exploitation. As we Methodists prepare for next year’s bi-centenary celebrations of the ending of slavery, we should acknowledge that people trafficking is the modern day equivalent.


Women and girls trafficked for sexual exploitation are cruelly treated by the gangs bringing them into the country, and have an awful existence once here. In the UK we have a comprehensive approach to this serious problem encompassing legislation, enforcement, international co-operation and support for victims. For instance, the Sexual Offences Act 2003 introduced offences covering trafficking which carry a 14 year maximum penalty. But, as I explained in May at the Methodist Women’s Network conference, it’s not just about tough laws. The victims have health needs - physical and psychological, they need to feel safely housed.


Tackling human trafficking is not just for Government; communities need to understand the issues and work on the problem. I know the Church is involved with “Churches in Europe against Trafficking in Women” (CHASTE).  I spoke at a CHASTE seminar in March welcoming their efforts to ensure that what happens to the victims of trafficking becomes more widely known. By working together, bringing our different perspectives to bear, we can ensure action is taken on all fronts to address this abhorrent crime. 


For further details of CHASTE visit: http://www.chaste.org.uk/


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