In 2015 Pope Francis asked the church and the world to work together to eradicate human trafficking and modern slavery. The Santa Marta Group was formed, bringing together the church and Police on an international level to combat slavery and trafficking world wide.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols asked the metropolitan police what the Catholic Church in Westminster diocese could do to help – they suggested opening a safe house for women – one which had no time limit – so that women could stay there as long as they needed, for their own recovery and so that the police could take their time to build up a case against their traffickers and abusers.
Caritas Bakhita House was opened in June 2015. Since then it has been a home to more than 170 guests who have stayed anything from a few weeks to a year or even more – plus 13 newborn babies. We have also helped secure prison sentences totalling nearly 150 years for those who traffic and exploit women.