Friday links: Child refugees, pop-up brothels, and The Clewer Initiative in the House of Lords

Every Friday we share the latest news on modern slavery and human trafficking in the UK. Keep up to date by following us on twitter (@theclewer), where we will tweet out the article each week.


A difficult watch from Channel 4, reporting on migrants and refugees attempting to get to Europe, as well as lone child refugees already in Europe who, the Human Trafficking Foundation says, are being failed by the British government. ITV has further coverage of the report from the Human Trafficking Foundation, which claims that 'Ministers have done "as little as legally possible" to help unaccompanied children who have fled war and conflict'.

The House of Lords says that far from deterring people smugglers, Europe’s naval operation in the Mediterranean has actually encouraged it, putting migrants in even more peril. Meanwhile, the Human Trafficking Foundation has condemned Britain for failing to protect unaccompanied children who end up in Europe, often falling victim to traffickers.

'Pop-up brothels' in Cornwall and modern slavery arrests in Buckinghamshire

12 months on from the initial discovery that traffickers were using holiday lets as 'pop-up brothels' in Cornwall, Cornwall Live reports that police are still finding more cases. There were 13 found between September 2016 and January 2017, and four more between April and June this year. Inspector Dave Meredith asked that the public 'keep their eyes open. Especially if there are frequently people, especially males, coming or going, or if they have got any concerns about what could be going on'. Meanwhile in High Wycombe, four people were arrested for modern slavery and money laundering.

The Clewer Initiative mentioned in the House of Lords

In the House of Lords this week the Bishop of Chelmsford raised the importance of including Church networks in tackling modern slavery, particularly when it comes to caring for the victims. He gave a mention to both The Clewer Initiative and the Catholic based Santa Marta Group. Read his full question and the response from Baroness Evans of Bowes Park here.

Can the Minister give an assurance that they will put the victim at the centre of this new global approach and that it will enlist the support and help of the Churches’ global networks, which are already beginning to mobilise through the Santa Marta Group and The Clewer Initiative to condemn this abomination, which Pope Francis has rightly called a crime against humanity?


The Church Times highlights a new report from Churches Together in England, released in collaboration with the Cambridge Centre for Applied Research in Human Trafficking. Titled Behind Closed Doors, it asks whether Pentecostal churches could be doing more to respond to sexual abuse and to identify victims of trafficking who might be worshipping in their churches.

The power and gender imbalance in leadership in some of our Pentecostal church members seriously affects reporting and recognition of the criminality and complete unacceptability of violence against women and children perpetrated in society and consequently present in our churches.