Church calls South Holland a people trafficking ‘hotspot’

South Holland is a “people trafficking hotspot” and a Catholic organisation is holding a seminar in Spalding to discuss the issue.

Regarding modern day slavery, a spokesman for The Santa Marta Group – an international initiative of the Catholic Bishops Conference in England and Wales – said: “Sadly, The Fens is regarded as one of the ‘hot spots’ in the UK.”

A seminar will take place on Saturday, November 30 at St Norbert’s Community Hall.

The project is being co-ordinated by Father Mark Odion who is the African Project Co-ordinator, based in London.

Father Odion explained that the seminar aims to raise awareness of the trafficking situation and abuses that go on within the agricultural sectors around the Fens and nearby Peterborough and Skegness.

“We would like to invite all local companies working in the agricultural sector to join us for the seminar – but, we would also like to issue an open invitation to anyone who would like to help us in our mission to help those who have been trafficked and to end this exploitation of vulnerable people.”

The head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales Cardinal Vincent Nichols has said: “It is a fact that human trafficking exists in every country, and probably in some form in every city and town.

“It is perhaps hard for us to comprehend that people are being tricked, deceived and traded in our part of the world, but the Catholic Bishops have been aware of the particular problems in The Fens for some time and have decided now is the time to act.”

The seminar is free to attend, but booking is essential – to book a place, contact St Norbert’s Parish Office on 01775 722056 or email

For more information contact

It’s hoped a Santa Marta Project will launch locally.

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