We are a group of passionate abolitionists who want to take an active stand against the brutal injustices of human trafficking and modern day slavery which are happening all around us. We believe that together we can make a difference in our corner of the world.
In 2017 a handful of us began meeting regularly in our homes, to educate ourselves on this issue both globally and locally. We quickly realised we needed to use our voices to speak up on behalf of those whose voice could not be heard and began running awareness raising events in our local community. We carried out research and put together resources to empower change. We quickly connected with frontline organisations working directly with victims and survivors and supported them by gathering useful donations, fundraising, speaking at events and generally using our personal networks and social media platforms for good.
Some team members have been engaged in this fight for years, others just started dipping their toes in as they felt their hearts stirred to actively take part in the solution. Some have befriended survivors and others hosted them in their home.
Today we are a part of the Oxfordshire Anti-Slavery Network, a multi-agency group including Thames Valley Police, working to end modern slavery in the county, and we continue using our voices through our social media platforms and awareness raising events.
We are very excited to soon be launching a befriending service tailored to the needs of survivors. This Befriender programme is the first ASIOX project to practically care for survivors of human trafficking and modern day slavery. Our hope is that it will be a meaningful part of their restorative journey.
MEET THE TRUSTEES
Amabel Larosa Luers
Amabel is the Co-founder and one of the Trustees running the day-to-day operations of ASIOX. She previously worked with young women exploited in the commercial sex trade in the United States, leading human trafficking awareness trainings and working directly to support survivors in their recovery process. Since moving to Oxford in 2014, she has volunteered as a speaker, researcher, fundraiser and community mobiliser with UK-based anti-slavery organisations. Amabel is passionate about engaging those around her with this important issue, seeking justice and seeing dignity and hope restored in the lives of survivors.
Amabel’s other passions are contemporary dance and spending quality time with her family spread across the UK, Italy and the US.
Caroline is honoured to serve ASIOX as a Trustee and Chair to the Board. She is a new mum and currently on maternity leave but ordinarily works as a property solicitor in Oxford. Caroline’s journey with anti-trafficking started in India in 2009 when she volunteered with a charity there. Her eyes were opened to the horrendous reality that is modern day slavery and she was moved to find out more upon her return to the UK. Since 2009 Caroline has volunteered with various charities in London and Oxford, taken part in awareness raising campaigns, fundraised, spoken with the media, chaired Q&A sessions and events and generally connected with what is going on in the community around this issue.
In her free time Caroline loves to go travelling with her husband (although still working out what that will look like with a little person!) and being in the outdoors, preferably on a bike.
Nicola is the Designated Safeguarding Lead and Modern slavery Advisor to ASIOX. She works as a Service Manager at Victims First Thames Valley Partnership. Responding to a need to provide urgent and long-term support for victims, she set up the first Modern Slavery & Exploitation support service for the Thames Valley providing care, advice, support and advocacy to victims ensuring they could escape from their often terrifying circumstances and live a life free from the chains of exploitation. Nicola has shown the utmost compassion and dedication in ensuring support for victims is priority by raising awareness, providing training and working strategically with statutory services and other agencies across the Thames Valley area in making this heinous crime a priority for everyone. Her anti-exploitation work is renowned nationally and she is working to expand this across other areas which is a testament to her skills, professionalism and dedication.
Her other passions are her two daughters, her cat Woody, listening to music and currently attempting to teach herself piano, which she would say is a work in progress!
Sue is the Co-founder and one of the Trustees running the day-to-day operations of ASIOX. Sue first became involved with the abolitionist movement in 2008, when she was made aware of children being abducted and forced to become soldiers in the LRA in northern Uganda. She joined with others in raising awareness about this humanitarian crisis and was struck by the generosity of men and women who responded with kindness when they heard the story. From that point, Sue has passionately told the many stories of those she has encountered and heard about and continues to raise awareness about the horror of human trafficking, modern slavery and exploitation. Over the last 3 years she has directly supported survivors in a personal way. Wanting to give more of her time and energy to this cause, in 2018 she took the next step of leaving her job as a conference organiser in the University of Oxford.
In her spare time Sue loves to undertake creative projects and to spend time outdoors, cycling and walking or at her allotment. She enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and family, both in Oxford and overseas.
Will is ASIOX’s Treasurer. He works as the Group Financial Controller at Hachette UK Ltd, a leading publishing group, where he manages a large team. In recent years he has become passionate about better understanding the issue of modern slavery and has developed a desire to see breakthrough in this area. Will is a committed Christian and lives in Oxford with his wife, Michelle. He loves to travel the world, experiencing the different cultures.
In his spare time he enjoys making the most of Oxford’s great food scene and going out for drinks.
MEET THE STAFF
Volunteer Engagement Lead
Michelle recently joined the staff team of ASIOX as Volunteer Engagement Lead having volunteered with them for just over 2 years previously. Prior to this she worked for over ten years supporting children with social and emotional vulnerabilities within both the education and charity sectors. She is an avid reader and first became curious about the issue of slavery after reading lots of historical fiction that focussed on the transatlantic slave trade, including Uncle Tom's Cabin, 12 Years a Slave and A Respectable Trade amongst others. It was at an ASIOX awareness raising event that she learned that there are in in fact more people in slavery today than there were during the transatlantic slave trade. It was at this point that she decided to get involved in the modern-day abolitionist movement and made it a priority to educate herself on modern slavery and human trafficking as well as joining the ASIOX team to raise awareness locally. In 2020 she made the decision to leave the education sector permanently and was thrilled to be asked to join the ASIOX staff team as their Volunteer Engagement Lead. She is looking forward to providing volunteers with more opportunities to get involved and making the volunteer experience both fun and rewarding.
In her spare time, Michelle loves to travel the world and it is her ambition to visit all 7 continents in her lifetime (only one more to go!). She also loves being 'Auntie Mishy' to her 9 nieces and nephews and getting involved with what's going on in her local community of East Oxford.