Still Fighting ... The Salvation Army Response
The Salvation Army has been fighting human trafficking since its inception. In the late-1800s, the Army famously led a 'sting operation' to uncover under-age prostitution in the UK and as a result was instrumental in raising the age of consent from 13 to16.
The Army was also responsible for changing an entire industry, when it began its own match factory. It offer fair wages and used safe materials rather than the poisonous phosphorus. This led to the entire match industry changing and becoming safer for people working in its factories.
What we have achieved in the past year
Today, this work continues around the world in the Army's 'Fight for Freedom' framework, both to assist people vulnerable to human trafficking, as well as advocating for systemic change. Here are just a few examples of the work that has happened over the past year:
- In Uganda, a response to human trafficking is integrated through the whole mission. Women's Ministries supports and journeys with survivors in different countries who need to return to, and reintegrate, within Uganda.
- The crisis in Venezuela of its people fleeing on foot to escape violence, insecurity and poor livelihoods leaves many refugees vulnerable to human traffickers. The Latin America North Territory, made up of 10 countries, is helping create a safe passage for the high-risk migration routes refugees find themselves in.
- Countries across the Europe Zone have been actively responding to the ongoing Ukrainian refugee crisis. The Army gives out pamphlets at border points, with helpful tips for staying safe from human traffickers. Salvationists have also provided home accommodation for refugees.
- In Australia, the first ever pilot programme promotes survivor engagement in government. The team of five survivors helped create key priorities of prevention, identification and support for victims and their hopes for survivor leadership in the sector
In one of its regular outreaches to a local brothel, The Salvation Army in Bangladesh connected with a mother and daughter who were involved in commercial sexual exploitation to sustain their family’s livelihood and finance significant health issues. Through the support of The Salvation Army, the daughter Ayesha* and her family were able to move out of the brothel. Ayesha dreamed of being a beautician - she began her studies and soon found a job in a hair parlour, where she now experiences dignified work, showcases her skills and provides for her family. Her next dream is to become an honest police officer and she is already preparing for this.
*name has been changed.
The Freedom Action Framework
The Salvation Army had made its response to modern slavery and human trafficking a global priority. The Fight for Freedom, our International Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Response Strategy, invites everyone to participate. To have a holistic response, we need to activate every part of our Army – from those on the ground and frontlines to those in our headquarters.
The are the goals outlined in the Framework - they have been created to allow Salvation Army communities to prioritize the actions that work for them - we all have a part to play:
PRAYER: We believe prayer is a foundational and powerful tool as we fight against modern slavery and human trafficking.
PREVENTION: Raising awareness and addressing the root causes of modern slavery and human trafficking is a vital element decreasing vulnerability.
PROTECTION: The Salvation Army has a holistic view of health and seeks to walk alongside and serve survivors as they regain their physical, mental, emotional, relational and spiritual health.
PROSECUTION: We support survivors through legal proceedings, enable the prosecution of offenders and work with offenders to restore a relationship with God and society.
PARTNERSHIPS: The Salvation Army cannot do it alone. We must be ready to collaborate and network with others to achieve our goal.
POLICY: We will create internal policies and advocate for external policies that reduce modern slavery and human trafficking and its demand.
PARTICIPATION: Every corps is a resource in this battle. We are often serving those on the margins and in communities where no others can reach.
PROOF: Ensure our response both contributes to and receives from research and is informed by evidence-based practices.
The Human Trafficking & Modern Slavery Response Contact Person in our Territory is Captain Sammy Millar. Contact her at: email@example.com