Britain and booming modern slave trade
After the detailed investigation the paper that London, the prosperous capital city of Britain is home to ten of thousands of men and women including children who are been kept captive in subhuman condition. They are forced to work impossible hours for little or no reward in brothels, car washes, restaurants, cannabis farms, and even the houses of the wealthy.
Transported here from all over the world and often unable to speak a word of English, they fear the authorities barely less than the gangsters.
We call this “modern slavery”, though there is nothing modern about it. It is a persistent evil which echoes down the centuries to the London of today in which we take such pride. That pride and our humanity dictate we do all in our power to find and free them. That is why, in this special investigation, the Evening Standard will expose modern slavery in all its gruesome detail.
We will reveal where and how it occurs. We will talk to its victims, and to the men and women fighting it through law enforcement, rehabilitation work and policy reform. We will show you how to spot the signs, and what you can do to combat it. We will demand action from Government and businesses to protect the victims and bring their abusers to justice.
Where do Britain’s modern slaves come from?
The majority of confirmed victims of slavery in the UK in 2016 came from these 30 countries (including the UK). Hover over the highlighted countries to discover the number of people and how they have been exploited.
The National Referral Mechanism identified almost 4,000 potential victims last year, from a staggering 108 countries. As our map shows, the most common foreign nationalities of the victims are Albanian, Vietnamese and Nigerian, followed by Chinese and Romanian.
Given that, Mr Hyland, the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner estimates the true number of victims to be much higher, up to 13,000 and, according to the National Crime Agency, possibly in the tens of thousands, it’s likely there are even more countries involved.
Modern slavery: How you can help bring this curse to an end
Crafted with anti-slavery advocates Freedom United, the innovative online tool offers advice on spotting the signs and helping victims in danger.
It also invites the capital to join an awareness-boosting walk for freedom on October 14, and to call on policymakers and businesses to introduce better protections to prevent abuse and support victims.
Readers can also learn how to uncover for themselves products made using slave labour, and demand that firms issue clear details of their supply chains. Leading lights in anti-slavery have called on Londoners to be the eyes and ears in the fight against the scourge.
“Most people don’t know modern slavery is going on or what it looks like. But everybody can do something about it,” said Professor Gary Craig, founding fellow at Hull’s Wilberforce Institute for Slavery and Emancipation.
Asking questions is crucial, he said, recalling one night when a man with a bucket and sponge offered to clean his car for £6 in a supermarket car park. “I asked him, ‘How much of that do you get?’ and he said £3. ‘Who gets the rest?’ I asked. Then he turned on his heel and disappeared into the dark.”
Marissa Begonia, co-ordinator of Justice for Domestic Workers (J4DW), which rescued 12 workers from servitude last month alone, said readers can sometimes help victims through the simple act of reaching out.
They could be “in a mall or any public place” — and if a person is being attacked, slapped or shouted at then suspicions should be raised.
“Try to find a way of talking to that person — they may be afraid at first,” she said, adding that J4DW volunteers often secretly slip their phone number to victims. But if you fear somebody is in immediate danger, call 999.