We had a really exciting three days when, on 15th and 16th October people from many distant lands came together for a meeting organised by the Scottish Churches Anti-Human Trafficking Group. We shared knowledge about human trafficking and began to explore how we can work together to address this evil. The following day, Saturday 17th October, we held a conference for members of churches and civil society from across Scotland.
We heard about important work being carried out in Christ's name in many countries - Malawi, Nepal, Bangladesh, Japan, Jamaica, the Czech Republic and of the Salvation Army's network across Europe. Closer to home, we learned how churches in Derby, Wales and Scotland are tackling trafficking and modern slavery.
The key message was that, no matter where in the world it is happening, it is people who live in poverty and are discriminated against who are vulnerable to traffickers. As Christian we have a duty to speak out against this crime against humanity. Jesus challenges us to love our neighbour and, like the Good Samaritan, help the stranger who is in need of compassion and care.
The events went really well. There was a really good buzz with lots of discussion and good informal feedback from people as they left. We distributed luggage labels, symbolic of people journeying, and asked delegates to write their 'take home' actions on one and leave actions for us on the other so we now have lots of suggestions for future action. We formed excellent relationships with people from home and abroad and look forward to working together in the future.
Following the Sousse shootings, Radio Alba with Glasgow Churches Together have produced a 13-minute audio Service for Tunisia with Church of Scotland, Roman Catholic and Scottish Episcopal Church contributions. A service sheet and dedicated prayer are also available.