The Church of England’s first female bishop, The Right Reverend Libby Lane, who made history last month when she was ordained as the new Bishop of Stockport, made one of her first official public appearances in her new role, to launch Manchester Airport’s TRAVEL SAFE WEEK, an initiative to help identify vulnerable passengers and put a stop to human trafficking through UK ports and airports.
She was joined by Councillor Sameem Ali, a Local Councillor in Manchester; who has written about her experiences and campaigns to help girls and women who are vulnerable to Forced marriage to know where to find help.
The Right Reverend Libby Lane said: “It is a pleasure to be here today to launch Manchester Airport’s Travel Safe Week 2015. It’s important that faith communities stand alongside statutory bodies, voluntary organisations like STOP THE TRAFFIK and businesses in standing up for those who are most vulnerable.
“I want to honour the work already being done by Manchester Airport, as well as the airlines and companies based here – and above all the work of Border Force and our Police – in protecting those in danger of violence and exploitation.
“This is not just a problem that belongs to one part of our community alone: the problem of human trafficking, forced marriage and exploitation belongs to the whole community. The solution is therefore also to be found by the whole community, together, by sharing responsibility and creating awareness.”
Travel Safe Week 2015 is an initiative to train airport workers to be aware of the signs of human trafficking and help protect vulnerable passengers.
According to Unicef, 1.2 million children are currently trafficked every year and human trafficking is now the second largest source of illegal income worldwide exceeded only by drugs trafficking. According to Stop the Traffik, 9.1 million men, women and children are trafficked across borders and within their own country at any given moment in time. It is the world’s fastest growing global crime.
Working with organisations such as the Stop the Traffik charity and the Border Force, the exercise aims to help train the 19,000 people who work on site every day at Manchester Airport to look out for tell-tale signs and put Manchester at the forefront of the trafficking fight in the UK.
Travel Safe Week also aims to raise awareness of the issue with not just airport staff, but also passengers travelling through Manchester Airport, with posters and leaflets, available in a range of different languages, displayed throughout the airport