Human Trafficking

A newly established Training Farm in Edo

The mushroom farm  at the Ewu Monastery, where the monks run a small business: PAX Herbals

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Link to the
Bishops' Conference
website page focusing on the issue of
Human Trafficking

WATCH - Eugene Iyoha, a local farm manager in Edo, feeds 2000 fish.

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Human Trafficking Awareness and Livelihood Campaigns

The Santa Marta Group was convened by the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales in 2014, when international police chiefs and Catholic Bishops met with Pope Francis in order to commit themselves to an anti-trafficking partnership. Together they combine their extensive expertise to defeat modern slavery and also enable the Church to assist victims of human trafficking on a practical and pastoral basis.     

The scourge of this  modern slavery is described by Pope Francis as

'an open wound on the body of comtemporary society'.

For young people in particular, especially those living in poverty with little contact with the outside world, it is an easy trap to fall into.  Imagine you cannot find a job because your country is struggling economically, whilst corruption and nepotism are rife. Someone offers you a job in another country and says you can pay back the cost of transport when you start work. It seems preferable to staying put with no hope of improvement in your circumstances.

However, once you are en route, your passport is taken 'to keep safe'.
At that point your identity is stolen, you are effecitvely silenced and your life enters a downward spiral. When you arrive in your new country you may find yourself in domestic service or other low--paid job. If you are a woman you may find yourself being sexually exploited, either to pay off your debt or to make money for the trafficker.

The International Labour Organisation has estimated that 40 million people are victims of modern slavery and that, in one year, human trafficking may currently be generating profits in excess of £25 billion.

It is a cruel cycle, but one that each of us, as parishioners, can help to put a stop to.

Southwark's Response

In conjunction with Grow Edo and the Santa Marta Group

Bishop Pat Lynch and Fr Mark Odion represent the Archdiocese of Southwark at the Santa Marta Group of the Catholic Bishop's Conference of England and Wales.

A significant number of those trafficked are from Nigeria, with approximately 90% from Edo State, which happens to be home to a high proportion of Catholics.

Bishop Pat and Fr Odion are working alongisde the Archdiocese of Benin, and particularly with the Sisters of the Sacred Heart, to enable a Human Awareness programme.  
The aim is to prevent young people falling into the destructive cycle of trafficking through educational presentations in schools, parishes and community centres.  

They are also engaged with a Human Livelihood programme in the area, with a view to providing young people with the opportunity to train in skilled jobs. In this way, Grow Edo can enable local businesses to flourish and offer a sustainable solution to poverty, thereby ameliorating the enticement of finding 'good jobs' abroad.  This project helps to keep young people safe and provides them with a chance to improve their circumstances and prosper as local entrepreneurs.

Bishop Dunia blesses a new vehicle to assist with the transportation of goods from a training farm in Auchi to a local market.

How you and your parish can help

Bishop Pat and Fr Mark Odion are offering each parish the opportunity to hear more about this crucial work with a view to parishioners supporting the work through prayer and other practical means. If you and your parish would like to hear more about this project, please contact Bishop Pat Lynch in the first instance.  

Personal Gifts to GrowEdo:
Social Justice is our bottom line

You can offer a personal financial gift to support the transformative work of GrowEdo, which will not only inspire local business growth in Nigeria, but provide skills and security for young people in Edo State, enabling them to progressively build a future.
To arrange giving on a regular basis via standing, order please fill out the Regular Gift form below.  This form of donation is especiallly welcome as it enables the project to plan for future expansion with a degree of certainty.

Single Gift cheques should be made out to RCAS ANTI-HUMAN TRAFFICKING PROJECT with your name and address printed on the back.

Giving Forms

Please send all donations, with an accompanying form to Bishop Pat Lynch and please let him know whether you require acknowledgement of your gift.  Thank you!

The Rt Rev. Bishop Pat Lynch
6a Creswell Park
London SE3 9RD

For general enquiries:

Cottage Industries in Edo State are providng young people with work in their local area and helping to prevent Human Trafficking.

Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Archdiocese of Benin) receive a generous donation from Tolworth parishioners for their Human Awareness programme.

Link to: the regular meeting of politicians and law enforcement officers, aided by the Church, so foster the work of combating Human Trafficking.

PDF poster for 8th February, annual Day of Prayer for Victims of Trafficking

Text of address by Bishop Patrick Lynch (December 2011) during Seminar on Human Trafficking