The International Slavery Museum's role as an active, campaigning museum has led to a number of initiatives, including the creation of a Campaign zone as well as exhibitions such as Home Alone and Trafficked. Dave Cookson from the Liverpool ACT Group reports on another recent event at the museum:
"The International Slavery Museum was host to the first ever Northern Forum for Active Communities against Trafficking groups (ACTs) on 23 October this year. The Liverpool ACT group were joined by members of groups from Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University and Manchester in addition to representatives from the STOP THE TRAFFIK organisation based in London. The event was held in the Anthony Walker Education Centre where members were greeted with complimentary fair trade chocolate bars and asked to participate in an appeal to Nick Clegg regarding human trafficking.
The forum was used as an opportunity for STOP THE TRAFFIK volunteers to inform each other of what their groups had been doing, in what proved to be a fruitful exercise as attendees left with new ideas about how to fight the problem of trafficking.
Volunteers were told about the successes STOP THE TRAFFIK had achieved in campaigning for chocolate products to be manufactured within fair trade restrictions prohibiting the use of slavery and trafficking in production. Members were encouraged to continue this campaign, targeting Nestle in particular.
Human rights drama group Ice & Fire gave a performance of a short play that told the true story of a girl who had been trafficked into the UK, her experiences were incredibly frustrating as she struggled to get support when she needed it most after escaping, only getting help when she had been put in contact with the Poppy Project.
Attendees participated in workshops concerning getting the most out of the media, including guidance on writing press releases and how to interest journalists in covering the work being done by STOP THE TRAFFIK. The networking workshop featured members discussing potentially useful contacts and ways in which such contacts can aid campaigns. Another workshop addressed the need for people to find their place within their groups so that they could utilise their skills and knowledge for the benefit of STOP THE TRAFFIK, whilst mobilising themselves better knowing what their role was.
Speaking about the day Liverpool ACT Group Co-ordinator Brenda Garner said 'I think it is good to meet up like this to hear from others, share ideas and encourage each other to increase activity and possible action we can take together as groups in the north of England. Also each person at the forum wrote down the action they as individuals were going to take. We hope to build on this and meet again; perhaps a couple of times a year'."