Stella Maris, a leading maritime charity dedicated to supporting seafarers and fishers worldwide, is pleased to announce the launch of a new workshop series across the UK.
These workshops are aimed at empowering individuals to identify cases of modern slavery within the maritime industry, supporting victims and survivors of modern slavery and raising awareness of the issue.
According to the most recent report from the International Labour Organisation, there has been a 10% increase in forced labour since 2016. This is a trend recognised by Stella Maris chaplains around the world. Seafarers and fishers who endure extended periods away from home and who may face isolation on vessels can be particularly susceptible to exploitation. In response, Stella Maris is taking proactive steps to address and help combat this issue.
The newly developed workshops, funded by the Department for Transport through the Merchant Navy Welfare Board, will provide participants with essential knowledge and tools to identify signs of modern slavery and to respond effectively to potential cases. The sessions will be led by a panel of experts and will focus on key topics, including: recognising indicators of exploitation, ways to reduce the risks of modern slavery, understanding the emerging threats and trends in modern slavery, and identifying and accessing appropriate support networks for those escaping modern slavery. Attendees will also have the opportunity to hear the voices of some of those who have experienced modern slavery first-hand.
Speaking about the initiative, Tim Hill MBE, CEO at Stella Maris, stated, “We are extremely proud to launch these workshops as part of our ongoing commitment to improving the welfare of seafarers and fishers. Forced labour and modern slavery have no place in the modern maritime sector in the UK. By empowering individuals to recognise and address instances of these crimes, we can help to create a safer environment for those who work at sea.”
The workshops will be open to front-line port personnel, including ship visitors, ship operators, port authorities, law enforcement agencies, and other port stakeholders who come into contact with seafarers and fishers. To ensure accessibility and increased reach, the workshops will be held in six locations around the UK: Liverpool, Bristol, Hull, Glasgow, Portsmouth and Belfast. To find information about the workshop series, visit the Stella Maris website at www.stellamaris.org.uk/combatting-modern-slavery/
Stella Maris believes that it is vital for all stakeholders in the maritime sector to work together in the fight against modern slavery. By equipping front-line workers and volunteers in the sector with the necessary knowledge and skills, it aims to inspire a network of advocates within the maritime industry who will collectively help to combat this issue.