28 October 2011
Anti slavery Christian groups congratulated by PM
Prime Minister David Cameron has met with Christian campaign groups to hear about their work and the issues they are facing in the fight against human trafficking.
All girl team Row for Freedom, who are rowing across the Atlantic in December and attempting a world record to raise awareness of trafficking, had a private meeting with the prime minister who gave his full support for the challenge.
The leader of the team who attends a church in south-west London, Julia Immonen, said: "It was an honour for the Row for Freedom team and I to have a private meeting with Mr Cameron, in which he enquired about the team's world record hopes and why the challenge was so important in raising awareness of human trafficking.
"Mr Cameron even invited the team to return to Number 10 once they have completed the 3,000-mile epic journey."
European operations director Gaz Kishere of Love 146, an organisation working to end child sex slavery and exploitation, attended the afternoon gathering organised by the prime minister at Number 10.
"The meeting was further recognition of a need to close the gap between government and NGOs [non-governmental organisations]. Non-government groups are finding increasing recognition as the primary care providers and prevention workers in addressing human trafficking in the UK."
Support of children who are found to be trafficked was an issue highlighted at the afternoon meeting. Despite support for adults there is currently no government funding for residential care facilities for children.
Last week The Guardian reported on a number of trafficking children being lost in the care system in Kent.
"More than 50 per cent of trafficked children in the UK are going missing from an ill prepared foster care system where they had been placed for processing, and many… [are] re-trafficked," says Gaz.
"The time with David Cameron enabled him to hear with absolute clarity what is and is not working when government policy hits the streets around our country, and which is increasingly filled with trafficked adults and children."