Gabbi Brining is a 17-year old student, who has been working hard to raise the issue of modern-day slavery in her school. She came with us to deliver the #STAND petition.
On Wednesday 6th November, I was part of a group of four young people who travelled to the Home Office, near Westminster, in order to deliver to a member of the UK government a petition started by the charity. Being people with hearts on fire for God and for seeing justice brought to the world, we were all thrilled about this opportunity to present this petition to help combat the global issue of modern-day slavery, particularly here in the UK.
We were able to have a 15-minute discussion with the Home Secretary, Theresa May, and handed over the petition to her – it has gained over 9000 signatures and that number continues to rise online. We were really blessed that Mrs. May was genuinely interested in the aims of the petition and the Modern Slavery Act that we would like to see passed. Her initial interest in combating modern-day slavery developed when she was in opposition as Minister for Women and Equality; she raised the issue of British people trafficking other British citizens within the UK, as detailed by the research done by the Centre for Social Justice. Mrs. May also told us that, as Parliament legislation is usually on-going, the Bill would officially be debated next May, though she stated that the subject had already been discussed various times in the House of Commons, with much interest on all sides of the house.
For me, this journey began during the summer of 2012 at a Soul Survivor festival in Shepton Mallet, where people from Soul Action spoke about some of the issues around human trafficking and modern-day slavery. As a well-educated 16-year-old, I was shocked that I had never heard of this before, and God put a passion in me to make a stand and declare that this was injustice in one of its most horrific forms. My horror at this exploitation of so many culminated in a whole-school assembly about human trafficking, raising awareness and fundraising for several charities, including Soul Action, who work against it. Just last week, I also appeared on BBC 3 Counties Radio where I was interviewed by DJ Helen Legh about the petition and why I have signed it – a perfect opportunity to raise awareness about the issues and gain other peoples’ support all over the UK.
I believe that this petition and its current profile in the UK Government is an integral part in the fight against not only slavery, but also poverty – one of its root causes. However, we really need to continue to talk about this issue and get involved in helping to combat it. All the support from the public for charities such as Soul Action is vital, and I’d encourage you to raise awareness, money and support for the fight against modern-day slavery.
Those of you who believe that you are the powerless, that you are the minority, that you are the unheard, I speak as a 17-year-old student with few social media skills – God will do amazing things with you if you are willing to be His messenger.
Make your stand against modern-day slavery; together let’s create a world in which no-one is for sale.