The number of people being trafficked to the UK for forced labor, domestic slavery or prostitution is rising. Many of the victims are children and are unaware of the dangers.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – The number of people being trafficked to the UK for forced labor, domestic slavery or prostitution is rising. Many of the victims are children and are unaware of the dangers. Official estimates show that there were 946 victims in 2011 and that 234 of them were children, this is a substantial increase on 2010’s figure of 710. Despite the estimates in the report, there are currently no official figures of the victims trafficked into the UK each year. Some reporters say that the figures are in thousands. The largest number of people trafficked were from Nigeria, Vietnam and Romania.
Most victims come to Britain lawfully and are often accompanied by their traffickers and the vast majority of them believe they are coming to the UK for a better life. According to a report by RT, teenagers from rural Vietnam, many of whom are orphans, are deliberately lied to by traffickers that they are coming over to the UK to work in restaurants and then find themselves forced to work in illegal Cannabis farms. Women from Nigeria many of whom have sworn to their traffickers not to run away or go to the authorities, arrive in the UK and are forced into prostitution. There are also cases where people were trafficked for the illegal removal of organs.
A policy has been introduced by some airlines, including Virgin Atlantic and Thomas Cook, to train cabin crew to spot passengers who may be the victims of trafficking and a 24 hour hotline has been set up for crew to alert the UK Border Agency before a plane lands in the UK. The Director of Anti-Slavery International, Dr Andrew McQuade said, he wants the British government to appoint a national commissioner on trafficking to make sure policy is unimpeded by party politics.