This Lent, could you help exploited fishers?
Isaac (not his real name), left Ghana in 2020 and, because there were few job opportunities, he paid £1,000 to an agent for a UK fishing contract.
The moment he stepped on board the trawler, he sensed trouble. He and four other men were put to work immediately, with no training or safety equipment. They worked until midnight – and were woken at 4.00am to start again.
With each gruelling day that passed, things got worse. “There was no drinking water on board and never enough food,” explained Isaac. “Some of the crew shouted racist abuse at us, and we worked so many hours there was no time to cook or even wash.”
Please, this Lent, could you help fishers affected by modern slavery?
It’s hard to believe this could happen off the coast of England. But the fact is, modern slavery/
exploitation is a growing problem. Stella Maris chaplains deal with up to four cases a year in
the UK. Someone might even be trapped in slavery in a port near you…
That’s why your support is so vital this Lent. You can help rescue enslaved/exploited fishers/
seafarers, and provide essential support for as long as they need it.
Thanks to the support of people like you to enable our intervention, Isaac and four other men
were rescued from the fishing vessel. We alerted police and other agencies, and the captain was
detained. We found the men a place to stay, fed them, provided clean clothes, and helped them
navigate endless meetings and paperwork.
Now, three years on, Isaac is still waiting for his case to be dealt with. He has been recognised as
a victim of modern slavery but needs a decision about whether he can stay in England.
Isaac hasn’t seen his family. He’s not allowed to work. He’s doing his best, but it’s hard to stay
positive. Isaac needs your help now as much as ever.