Exploitation of vulnerable people – modern slavery – is happening in Fenland
The fight to end criminal exploitation and trafficking of vulnerable workers in Fenland will feature in an important online anti-slavery conference hosted by Wisbech and Fenland Museum later this month.
The conference will be formally opened by the UK's Independent Anti-slavery Commissioner Dame Sara Thornton.
Local speakers include DS Chris Acourt from Cambridgeshire's multi-agency taskforce Operation Pheasant and Anita Grodkiewicz MBE of Wisbech's Rosmini Centre, which partnered Fenland District Council in an 18-month Government-funded project researching modern-day slavery in the area.
The event is going ahead online from 9.30am on Thursday 25 February after it was cancelled last spring immediately before national lockdown. Everyone is welcome to join it free by booking a place via the Wisbech Museum website.
This 2021 Conference is part of a programme of community events made possible through the ongoing Articles for Change project thanks to funding from the Museum Association's Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund. It follows on from the Modern Slavery Summit held in Wisbech in March 2017.
It will bring together representatives of local, national and international organisations fighting modern slavery and also researchers and curators from museums in Britain working with themes of slavery, trafficking and exploitation.
Rosmini Centre manager Anita Grodkiewicz said: “Exploitation of vulnerable people – modern slavery – is happening in Fenland. We've got to raise awareness further and fight modern-day slavery, because it's not going to go away on its own.”
Organiser Sarah Coleman of Wisbech and Fenland Museum said: “We have an amazing line-up of speakers working locally and also nationally including STOP THE TRAFFIK, Stronger Together, Rosmini Centre, the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, and Anti-Slavery International, the human rights organisation co-founded by Wisbech abolitionist Thomas Clarkson in 1839.
“Local, national and international initiatives will be explored and we hope to raise awareness of this work. The conference is also providing opportunities for young people from Fenland to gain skills in the workplace as the 20Twenty Productions team will be helping to run the event.”
The Museum and Wisbech’s historic connection to antislavery work featured last year on BBC Two's Inside Culture and on Enslaved, the documentary series by Samuel L Jackson.