Skip Content

Archbishop’s statement on the first UN anti-trafficking day

Wednesday 30th July 2014

Archbishop of Canterbury welcomes UK government efforts to combat human trafficking and urges churches to play lead role in the “new abolitionist movement” by supporting Freedom Sunday on 19 October.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said: 

"It beggars belief to think that, 200 years after William Wilberforce's success in abolishing the transatlantic slave trade, the trade in human beings continues at such a pace that we need a UN World Day against Trafficking in Persons.

“I am very pleased that the United Kingdom Government is bringing forward legislation to combat a shameful and shadowy practice that deprives people of their freedom and their God-given dignity. I hope MPs and Peers will take this opportunity to agree to a series of robust measures, not least in the area of business supply chains, that set the standard for the rest of the world.

“I encourage churches to be at the forefront of this new abolitionist movement, by taking steps to raise awareness now and by coming together with others around the world on 19 October, Freedom Sunday, in a day of worship, prayer and action on human trafficking." 

Get involved 

On July 30th each year, the Church of England remembers William Wilberforce, Olaudah Equiano and Thomas Clarkson, and their work to end slavery. To find prayers for that day visit: 

Freedom Sunday:

Freedom Sunday is a day of worship, prayer and action on human trafficking. On Sunday 19 October, churches all over the world will join together to raise awareness of the crime of human trafficking and show the world our compassion for the men, women and childern who are trafficked and exploited.

To download worship materials and other Freedom Sunday resources visit:

Global Freedom Network:

In March this year the Archbishop of Canterbury and Pope Francis gave their backing to a ground-breaking ecumenical initiative to combat modern slavery and human trafficking. To find out more about the Global Freedom Network visit:




Tagged with

Back · Back to top