St Mary’s University hosts event for the Feast Day of St Josephine Bakhita

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The Centre for the Study of Modern Slavery (CSMS) at St Mary’s University, Twickenham celebrated the Feast day of St Josephine Bakhita, the Patron Saint of Slavery, with a lunch that highlighted the involvement of slavery and human trafficking in bringing everyday foods to our plates.

Hosted by St Mary’s Vice-Chancellor Francis Campbell, the lunch included popular dishes such as prawn cocktail, pizza, grilled chicken and chocolate mousse. Each course of the lunch was accompanied by a presentation devised and delivered by Dr Kim Salmons. The presentation juxtaposed the enjoyment of the dining experience with the knowledge that another human being may have suffered in the production of the food. Professor Gary Craig, Professor of Community Development and Social Justice at Durham University and Emeritus Professor of Social Justice at the Wilberforce Institute for the study of slavery and Emancipation at the University of Hull closed the event with a keynote speech addressing modern slavery specifically within UK supply chains.

Attendees at the lunch included representatives from the Anti-Slavery Commissioner’s Office, the Human Trafficking Foundation, the Catholic Bishops Conference, the media, Bakhita House, the Helen Bamber Foundation and other organisations that work with the victims of slavery and abuse and whose mission is to eradicate the modern day epidemic of slavery.

The lunch is part of a series of events being hosted by CSMS throughout the 2015/16 academic year. A two-day event, in collaboration with the Centre for Law and Culture, ‘Perspectives on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking: Representations, Law, and Social Justice’ will take place on 9 – 10 March and will include a photographic exhibition, a screening of films about trafficking and academic papers.

The event will close with a keynote speech delivered by Professor Tom Obokata, Keele University entitled: ‘Implementing International Law on Human Trafficking’.