Scotland's National Catholic magazine

Bishop McGee praises Sir Mo Farah for giving ‘a voice’ to the enslaved

Bishop Brian McGee of Argyll and the Isles has praised Sir Mo Farah for bringing attention to the ‘terrible evil’ of human trafficking ‘which exists across Scotland’ after revealing he was trafficked to the UK as a child and forced into domestic servitude.

Sir Farah, widely regarded as one of greatest long-distance runners in history, revealed his real name was Hussein Abdi Kahin and he had been given the name of Mo Farah when he arrived in the UK. 

Bishop McGee said when Sir Farah revealed his true identity, he ‘put himself in a vulnerable position’ that ‘gave a voice to the more than 40 million people who today are enslaved across the world.’

He noted that human trafficking is the second most profitable criminal enterprise after the illegal arms trade, with annual profits estimated to be as high as over £26 billion worldwide.

Bishop McGee said that ‘despite his fame and fortune, won through natural ability hone by dedicated hard work, it was clear that his life has been blighted by such awful experiences.’

“Human trafficking is a terrible evil which exists across Scotland,” he said. “Mo’s story demonstrated that most victims are hidden in plain sight.

“They are exploited in many ways including forced labour, sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, forced criminality and organ harvesting. There is little or no pay.”

Bishop McGee said that to Sir Farah and seeing the impact of being trafficked on himself and his family was ‘very touching’.

“It also reminded us that every trafficked person is a human being, as precious as ourselves,” he said.

Sign Up to Our Newsletter

Get the latest Scottish Catholic news. Sign up today.