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Taking care

06 June 2014

THE chaplaincy at Manchester Airport last month led a "Travel Safe" week to train all the 19,000 airport staff to look out for any passengers who might be vulnerable, or who could be being trafficked or exploited. They are also looking out or for signs of a forced marriage, or the abduction of a child by a parent.

They were joined by the Border Force Safeguarding Team, the International Justice Mission, and the charity Stop the Traffik.

Throughout the week, members of the chaplaincy team, together with the anti-trafficking charities and Border Force, visited every office, staff room, and retail outlet, and met everyone who works in the airport, from cleaners to customs officers and security guards in the three terminals, to advise all the staff of the Travel Safe message, to share information, and to invite them to training sessions.

 uman trafficking isall too real a problem, Tricia Williams, the Customer Services Director at the airport, says. "As the third busiest airport in the UK, we have a role to play in ensuring our staff are trained so that they are equipped with the knowledge to spot and report any passenger whom they think is at risk."

The Co-ordinating Chaplain, the Revd George Lane, knows that airport staff already go out of their way to look after people whom they think might be vulnerable. "I regularly hear stories of how staff go the extra mile to protect passengers travelling alone, or who have missed their flight or don't speak English, and mobilise their colleagues to do the same. . .

"The chaplaincy has made this a priority, because how we take care of the stranger within our gates is a fundamental part of our common Abrahamic faith tradition; and helping others to avoid or escape from being enslaved or exploited is absolutely the work of the Kingdom of God."

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