A new photo exhibition portraying the signs of modern slavery and exploitation opened on Monday in the new Dean’s Green garden outside Lincoln Cathedral.
The free exhibition is titled ‘Invisible People‘ and was designed by the National Crime Agency. It will run between October 12 to 19.
It features a series of striking images capturing snapshots of life in modern slavery – in agriculture, construction, maritime, cannabis farming and food processing, child trafficking for sexual exploitation and forced prostitution.
The exhibition has been brought to the city by Lincolnshire County Council, the Safer Lincolnshire Partnership, and The Clewer Initiative to coincide with Anti-Slavery Day on Sunday, October 18.
Lincoln Cathedral’s morning service on October 18 will feature preaching on the subject of modern slavery.
That evening the outside of the cathedral will be illuminated in yellow lights to further help raise awareness of modern slavery and human trafficking.
The Dean’s Green, which is accessed from Minster Yard, is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 4pm and Sunday from 11am to 4pm.
Barry Young, Chairman of the Safer Lincolnshire Partnership and Lincolnshire county councillor, said: “More than 200 years after slavery was abolished in the UK, there are still an estimated 136,000 men, women and children trapped in modern slavery across the country.
“Tackling this abhorrent crime starts with recognising the signs of this exploitation and understanding how we can all help if we spot something that doesn’t look right.
“Following on from the exhibition, we’ll be doing more to root out this evil in Lincolnshire, including working with local businesses and organisations. Lincolnshire is one of the safest counties in the country, and it should be that way for everyone who lives and works here.
“Bringing this exhibition to Lincoln allows many more people to see it, and allows us to continue the conversation about what modern slavery looks like, and how we can all help put a stop to it.”
The Very Revd Christine Wilson, Dean of Lincoln, said: “We may wish to believe that slavery is a thing of the past, but the unfortunate reality is that not only does slavery still exist, but that it is hidden in plain sight in many areas of modern life, from agriculture and food production to construction and labour exploitation.
“There is no typical victim of modern slavery; men, women and children of all ages, ethnicities and nationalities find themselves exploited, and their dignity removed.
“While it is easy to feel powerless in the face of this painful reality, as people of faith each of us has a responsibility to help end this injustice.
“If we each take the lead in our own communities, by learning to recognise the signs of exploitation and talking to friends, family and colleagues, we can seek to end the degrading and dehumanising practices of modern slavery.”