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Christian charity urges people to spot signs of trafficking as figures show rise of slavery in UK
A Christian charity has described recent data on the number of modern slavery cases involving UK children as "alarming".
The National Crime Agency (NCA) found that the number of potential victims of trafficking and modern slavery reported to the authorities has risen by more than 80 per cent in two years.
There were more than 1,400 cases of modern slavery involving UK minors last year alone.
Euan Fraiser from Christian human rights organisation International Justice Mission told Premier that people need to make sure they are able to spot who needs help.
Speaking during Premier's News Hour, he said: "It's great for people to be educated in terms of what the possible signs of trafficking are so that if there are potential situations which make you feel a bit uncomfortable, whether that be in terms of, you know, a car wash you're visiting, or somewhere else where you're working, or a restaurant where you're visiting, you know what to do.
"You can always report any suspicions to the modern slavery helpline. And you can also look to engage others in your community on this issue."
The number of modern slavery cases involving UK children rose from 676 in 2017 to 1,421 in 2018.
Meanwhile, child exploitation by county lines gangs has been thrown into the spotlight in recent trials.
In January, drug dealer Jerome Wallis, 20, who forced a London teenager to travel to Swansea to deal heroin and crack cocaine, was jailed for eight years.
Another case in October saw former business management student Zakaria Mohammed, from Birmingham, jailed for 14 years for various drug and modern slavery offences.
Three 15-year-old boys were found by police in a "filthy, cold" one-bedroom flat in Lincoln littered with used syringes and frequented by drug addicts.
They had been "groomed" with false promises of money.
Fraiser said it was vital for Christians to not to ignore the issue of modern slavery and trafficking.
He added: "As Christians, we believe in the power of prayer. We believe in the God of justice, and we have an initiative called 'freedom Sunday in September'.
"We've also got an event called 'Pray for justice in me' and so we do encourage people to engage in prayer."
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