A prisoner that has been abused, not fed and locked up for most of their
lives, they don’t know how or what freedom is because they have been subjected to the term ‘Modern Day Slavery’.
Any of you live near a block of flats? A semi-detached house or even have a favourite take out restaurant? None of you that are rushing to get to work or eating out would ever expect that a slave could be locked up inside, penniless, starving with no passport and worst, not one person to talk to.
How would you know? It’s a normal day you’re running late for work, you have this and that errand to deal with, but for a ‘modern day slave’ a normal day can be from anything to starving, being forced to have sex with people they don’t know or even serving your food at that beautiful restaurant.
What is ‘Modern Day Slavery’?
Modern Day Slavery is a political issue practised around the world. It can be anything from women in prostitution, young girls being forced to marry older men to children and adults in agriculture or domestic work.
The UK government are now pressing on measures to come into force. The Modern Slavery Act that came out on the 31st July has now increased the maximum custodial sentence for offenders meaning that instead of 14 years in prison it will now extend to life. This is in hope to strengthen victims against prosecutions for offences committed as part of their exploitation.
Home Office revealed that there are between 10,000 and 13,000 people that remain trapped in modern day slavery in the UK.
Many of the stories that arise from human instinct of wanting to improve their lives, trusting a friend, a boyfriend or a relative. Many of them believe that they are coming to a better life, sadly their dreams are taken when they recognise that they no longer hold human rights.
Why does Slavery Persist?
With the immigration crisis in Calais right now human traffickers, will use this to their advantage knowing that these people will do anything in hope for a better life… Poverty is another tool used by human traffickers- by deliberately structuring credit arrangements to trap people into long term debt.. Parents are forced to sale their children or give themselves believing they are going to a better life. Its cheap labour… in real essence these victims do not cost a thing and is one of the many reasons why slavery still survives today.
How can we spot the signs?
- Physical appearance– Victims usually have signs of psychological abuse- they may look malnourished or appear withdrawn.
- Poor living– Victims may be living dirty, tight accommodation.
- Unusual travel times– Victims are usually dropped off or collected for work at a regular time usually really early or late night
- Will not seek help– Victims will avoid eye contact, won’t talk to strangers
What’s worst is that the human traffickers are not dirty old men in raincoats – they are charming, caring and presentable and are able to use this to manipulate their victims.
Slavery is closer than you and I think