Global ‘Evil’ of Human Trafficking Condemned by Bishop Libby in 1st Public Address as First Female Bishop

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2015-02-10 by Call Me Sunshine

Western Morning News by WMNDavidWells  |  Posted: February 09, 2015


The ‘evil’ of human trafficking has been highlighted by the first female Church of England bishop in her first official public appearance in her new role.

Supporting Manchester Airport’s Travel Safe Week, the Rev Libby Lane said the problem would not go away without “commitment and struggle”.

The initiative, in its third year, trains the 19,000 people who work at the airport every day to be aware of the tell-tale signs of human trafficking and help protect vulnerable passengers.

According to children’s charity Unicef, 1.2 million children are trafficked every year and human trafficking is said to be the second largest source of illegal income worldwide, exceeded only by drugs trafficking.


The Bishop of Stockport’s address comes just over a week after she was ordained in a service at York Minster where she was presented for consecration by the Bishop of Exeter, the Right Reverend Robert Atwell.

Bishop Libby said: “This evil that we are addressing will not go away without commitment and struggle.

“We recognise it is a complex problem and therefore it needs the strongest possible collaboration between all those of goodwill – between governments, statutory agencies, businesses, civil societies, faith communities, all those who long to see humanity live in freedom across the globe.

“And that is why I am so pleased to be here today as this is a shining example of such collaboration.

“I want to honour the work already being done by Manchester Airport and its partners here that Travel Safety draws attention to and above all the work being done by the Border Force and our police in protecting those who are in danger of violence and exploitation.

“And I want to recognise that this is not a problem that belongs to any one part of our community but the problems of human exploitation, trafficking and forced marriages is an issue that faces every and all communities so the solution is also to be found in the whole community together, sharing responsibility and awareness.

“I honour the commitment that this week and the ongoing work at the airport makes to alleviate this problem.”

Working with organisations such as the Stop the Traffik charity and the Border Force, the campaign will also raise awareness with passengers via posters and leaflets displayed throughout the airport.

The Bishop was joined at the launch by her husband, the Rev George Lane, who is co-ordinating chaplain at Manchester Airport.

He said: “It (human trafficking) is an issue for Manchester Airport because it is a major UK and world travel hub. So trafficking, forced marriage and exploitation is an issue for us because it is an issue for our country, for our world and our local communities. But the good news is that we already have the resources to tackle that problem, which are the people who work at Manchester Airport and go the extra mile.”

Also at the campaign launch was Manchester councillor Sameem Ali who has written about her own experiences of forced marriage.

She said: “I am a survivor of forced marriage and was taken out of the country aged 13.

“I wish there was something like this back then and I wish children knew about it. Maybe I would have been saved from the torture that I endured, maybe I would have been saved from the pain that I had to go through.

“The airport is a safe place. Children think they cannot approach adults, so I am really happy that there is something happening here at the airport because the airports are the last place that children will have the chance to approach somebody.

“So my appeal to children is please feel confident to approach somebody at the airport. There is help here. You will be listened to. Please do not suffer in silence.”

Bishop Lane said: “In the light of stories like Sameem, really all I can do is to lend whatever voice and influence I have to try to ensure that those who are vulnerable as she was get the help and support that they need.”

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