Are we Blind; to the agenda of Modern Day Slavery in the UK
Women forced into prostitution, children forced to work in agriculture, domestic work and factories, entire families forced to work for nothing to pay off generational debts and girls forced to marry older men, all such incidents revolving around us might make us to wonder which century we are actually living in.
World Slavery’s agenda was not put to end with its abolishment in the 19th century, instead it still continues as of this day and age in the form of Modern Slavery.
According to recent reports from the Human rights Organisation, Anti slavery, modern slavery around the world account’s up to 40.3 million.
According to the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner Strategic Plan 2015-2017, it is reported that, Modern slaves in the UK, often said to be hiding in plain sight, are working in nail bars, construction sites, brothels, cannabis farms and in agriculture.
Sexual exploitation is the most common form of modern slavery reported in the UK, followed by labour exploitation, forced criminal exploitation and domestic servitude.
Potential victims of modern slavery identified in the UK are trafficked under the National Referral Mechanism.
According to the Anti Slavery report , the widely recognised and most persistent global trafficking flows root out in to UK from Poland, Romania, Albania, Nigeria and Vietnam .The trafficked potential victims ranges from eighty one, Hundred and fifty one, four hundred and forty nine, two hundred and forty four and two hundred and sixteen, respectively.
Human Trafficking Foundation claimed that the bill implemented by the House of Lords in 2015 in regards to the migrant workers who are brought to the UK by their employer using “tied visas” had failed to focus on the needs of victims of trafficking in the UK visas the right to change employer.
The system of tied visas, introduced in 2012, has been compared to the Kafala system of employer-sponsored workers used in some Middle East countries.
These workers are typically foreign domestic workers and they are not allowed to legally leave their job and find employment elsewhere.
The United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC) subsidiary of the National Crime Agency (NCA) estimated that 2,744 people, including 602 children, were potential victims of trafficking for exploitation in 2013, an increase of 22 per cent on 2012.
Many identified incidents are claimed to have been lured in to it in a chance to escape poverty, limited opportunities at home, a lack of education, unstable social and political conditions or war. But their slave masters are usually out to make financial gain.
There are no typical victims, men, women or children of all ages but it is normally more prevalent among the most vulnerable, minorities or socially excluded groups.
Armed conflict in Syria and Iraq relate to protracted crises and complex migration, such as the migration route through North Africa. Such crisis situations created through war not only exacerbate increase existing vulnerabilities to slavery and human trafficking, but also cause new forms to emerge.
All these forms of crisis have displaced huge numbers of people, many of whom are extremely vulnerable to exploitation range from forced prostitution and forced labour to forced marriage and forced organ removal from criminal traffickers.
Many people think that slavery happens only overseas, in developing countries. In fact, no country is free from modern slavery, even across modern Britain. Modern day slaves wear no labels found in the backstreets and upmarket suburbs of Britain, disguise of sex workers, child pickpockets, domestic helpers, caterers, masseurs, tarmac layers, farm labourers, car washers and factory staff in normal everyday jobs. They all carry a price tag and are bought and sold, used and abused
Counter-trafficking and slavery efforts currently remain at the margins of humanitarian response efforts. Additionally, the resurgence of slavery is one of the most outstanding tragedies of the modern globalised era but till date it has not received the necessary level of priority or attention on the global political or development agendas
Modern slavery is often an interconnected crime,therefore, effective technical and operational cooperation with countries of origin will maybe reduce the crime.
Although, effective prevention should be first to step in such countries of origin to prevent vulnerable people from being exploited in the first place.
Often this will mean working in collaborating with countries of origin to develop effective and targeted prevention projects, though we must be clear that victims, including British nationals, are of course in many instances first targeted in the UK, and that prevention activity within our own borders is equally important.
UK agencies must become more effective at identifying and recording details of the regions of countries of origin from where foreign national victims are most commonly trafficked.
There must then be enhanced collaboration with partner governments, agencies and civil society organisations to develop effective prevention projects in these regions, with a focus on community engagement and awareness, the development of economic opportunities, and law enforcement and criminal justice collaboration .