It’s Lent, the time of year when we give up our favourite treats, snacks, or activities for forty days, testing our self-discipline and resolve.
The Church of England’s modern slavery project is asking us to give up slavery for Lent
People give up things during Lent for all sorts of reasons. Traditionally it is a time of reflection before Easter, when Christians fast or give up luxury items in order to focus on God. Nowadays it’s a cultural event for many, and people give up social media, chocolate, cheese, coffee – anything and everything.
This Lent, we’re asking you to do something different. Instead of giving up your favourite treat, we want you to give up slavery.
Now obviously we know you are not willingly supporting slavery. No one wants to live in a world where the goods we buy are made by slaves. But the truth is, we do live in that world. Estimates suggest that 40.3 million people across the world are living in slavery – that’s men, women and children. The latest Home Office estimate says that 13,000 of them are living in the UK, but anecdotal evidence from the police and other law enforcement agencies suggests the true figure is much higher.
Slavery is an illegal business, the world’s second most profitable after drug trafficking, but the goods that slaves make or the services they provide can be found on our high streets.
Over the course of Lent, each week we will introduce you to one industry that is touched by slavery. We’ll give you a story to read and a simple action to take in response. You can then take it further with a second action that will help you to dig even deeper into the issue.
You can download the whole challenge, or sign up to our mailing list to have each week’s challenge emailed to you as the weeks go by. We’ll be taking the challenge on too so keep your eye out for our thoughts on Facebook and twitter.