Northamptonshire Rights and Equality Council are currently working together with other organisations to raise awareness of human trafficking and modern slavery.
Despite slavery being abolished in the UK 2 centuries ago, vulnerable people continue to be exploited into modern slavery. This could include being enslaved into:
- Sexual exploitation. 42% of victims are sexually exploited. This can include forced prostitution and sexual abuse, child sex abuse and the production of child pornography.
- Labour. 36% of victims are forced into unpaid or low paid labour including: factory work, agricultural work, construction, nail bars, hand cleaned car washes/valeting and catering and hospitality.
- Domestic servitude. 10% of victims in the UK are enslaved for domestic servitude and shockingly 24% of these victims are children!
- Forced arranged marriage.
- Organ removal.
- Forced begging
- Forced benefit fraud.
- Unlawful adoption.
Today’s challenges is not accepting slavery is wrong and inhumane, it is discovering victims. It is difficult for agencies to identify victims as many are ‘invisible’ to member of the local community and local authorities. The challenge of identifying victims is usually made even harder due to modern slaves being unable to move around freely and regularly being forced to relocate. It has been reported that there could be 10,000-13,000 victims of modern slavery within the UK.
Reasons why vulnerable people continue to be exploited through modern slavery include:
- Fear of harm towards their family or themselves.
- Unable to identify themselves as victims of slavery.
- Being held against their will.
- Having their identity and financial documents withheld.
- Migrant slaves may not speak the language of the State that they are enslaved in.
While victims are trafficked from more than 100 countries, it is believed that the the most prevalent States for trafficking include:
- Albania & Romania-particularly for sexual exploitation.
- Nigeria-commonly enslaved as domestic servitude.
- Vietnam-frequently enslaved for long periods of time to cultivate cannabis crops.
- British-born adults and children are also victims, especially if they have vulnerable characteristics such as drug addiction, alcohol abuse and growing up in care.
Here are some useful links for anyone who would like to find out more about Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery.
Modern Slavery UK Website
If you are worried that someone is a victim of human trafficking and modern slavery you can contact one of the following contacts in confidence:
Crimestoppers UK on 0800 555 111
Hope 4 Justice UK on 0845 519 7402
Modern Slavery UK on 0800 0121 700
Julia Potts at Northamptonshire Police on 101 or call 999 in an emergency.
We will be hosting training on identifying victims of Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking in partnership with Hope4Justice on 24 November 2015. If you are a professional/community worker/volunteer you can book for free here.