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Hania

It is estimated that over 3 million people are living in conditions of modern slavery in Pakistan (GSI 2018). Children are subjected to modern slavery in the form of forced marriage. It is estimated that 21% of girls in Pakistan are married before the age of 18. Child marriage in the country is connected with tradition, culture and custom. It occasionally involves the transfer of money, settlement of debts or exchange of daughters sanctioned by a Jirga or Panchayat.     This woman tells of how despite asking to continue with her education, at the age if 19 was forced to travel to Pakistan to marry. Despite being subjected to physical violence, this woman’s family maintained that she must stay with her husband. After five years, she finally left the abuse and is now happily married to a man of her choice. 

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Kate

There are an estimated 3.6 million people living in modern slavery across Europe and Central Asia (GSI 2018). This region had a prevalence of 3.9 people in modern slavery for every 1,000 people in the region. Men, women and children are trafficked in to forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation. Trafficking for sexual exploitation is the most widespread for of modern slavery with an 84% of victims trafficked for this purpose. The majority of those trafficked for this purpose are women and young girls who often originate from Eastern Europe within the EU as well as Sub-Saharan Africa, with the majority of people being trafficked from Nigeria to various parts of Europe including Italy, France, Spain and the UK through an array of complex trafficking networks. Kate grew up in the UK with little support from her family. At the age of 18 she went to university, but hated it and soon left. She took up an invitation from a man she had gotten to know through an online forum to join him in Europe for a holiday. Once she arrived, she was locked in a room and forced in to prostitution. For over a year Kate was forced to provide sexual services, her passport was locked in a safe, along with the money she earned for him each day. One day, Kate was able to escape. Taking her passport and some money from the safe after having memorised the code, Kate bought a flight back to England and once she arrived, went to her previous social worker’s office who called the police. Six month later, Kate reached out to the Sophie Hayes Foundation saying she wished to be ‘normal’ again.

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Sarah

UK children continue to be subjected to sex trafficking within the country. Children in the care system and unaccompanied migrant children are particularly vulnerable to trafficking. The United Kingdom remains a significant destination for men, women and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labour. The latest government statistics derived from the UK National Referral Mechanism in 2014 reveal 2,340 potential victims of trafficking from 96 countries of origin, of whom 61 percent were female and 29 percent were children. At least one child a day is trafficked into Britain according the to the Human Trafficking Foundation, with children forced to work in the sex industry, domestic service, cannabis cultivation or as criminal on the streets.  Child victims of human trafficking primarily originate from Romania, Vietnam, Nigeria, and from within the UK itself.     Sarah was 10 years old when she began buying illegal cigarettes and alcohol from a gang in the UK, often not having to pay because they were her 'friends'. After 2 years, the gang told Sarah that she had a £75,000 debt that she would have to pay for by transporting drugs and providing sexual services. Despite being in the care system, at school and having a social worker, it wasn't until a police officer looked further in to Sarah's case that she was rescued from her situation. Sarah talks about the system failures that led to her trafficking. 

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Charlie

Despite having the lowest regional prevalence of modern slavery in the world, Europe remains a destination, and to a lesser extent, a source region for the exploitation of men, women and children in forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation. According to the most recent Eurostat findings, European Union (EU) citizens account for 65 percent of identified trafficked victims within Europe. These individuals mostly originate from Eastern Europe, including Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Slovakia. In Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the European Parliament has identified corruption and the judicial system as reform challenges towards accession talks within the EU. In Greece, the turbulent economic situation has increased vulnerability for populations seeking employment and livelihood opportunities. In Greece, unemployment reached 24.4 percent in January 2016 with a youth unemployment rate of 51.9 percent.  Charlie was forced to provide sexual services to older men in the UK. She was finally able to escape when one of the clients took pity on her and helped her escape. With the help of AFRUCA, Charlie is getting back on her feet.

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Tim

Despite having the lowest regional prevalence of modern slavery in the world, Europe remains a destination, and to a lesser extent, a source region for the exploitation of men, women and children in forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation. According to the most recent Eurostat findings, European Union (EU) citizens account for 65 percent of identified trafficked victims within Europe. These individuals mostly originate from Eastern Europe, including Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Slovakia. In Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the European Parliament has identified corruption and the judicial system as reform challenges towards accession talks within the EU. In Greece, the turbulent economic situation has increased vulnerability for populations seeking employment and livelihood opportunities. In Greece, unemployment reached 24.4 percent in January 2016 with a youth unemployment rate of 51.9 percent.  Tim thought he had escaped an exploitative situation when he fled the house of his employer. While wandering the streets he was approached by a woman who offered to help him. However, upon arrival at her house, he was forced to undertake all the housework and childcare responsibilities and was prevented from leaving the house except to pick the children up from school.

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Charlotte B

In 2016, the estimates of modern slavery in Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for approximately 13.6 percent of the world's total enslaved population. As evident from surveys conducted in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and Ethiopia by Walk Free Foundation, slavery in Sub-Saharan Africa takes the form of forced labour and forced marriage. In Ghana, survey results suggest that there are an estimated 103,300 people enslaved in that country, of which 85 percent are in forced labour, and 15 percent are in forced marriage. For forced labour, the main industries of concern are farming and fishing, retail sales and then manual labour and factory work. In Nigeria, survey results suggest that forced labour is predominantly within the domestic sector, although it was impossible to survey in three regions due to high conflict. In South Africa, the industries most reported in the survey include the commercial sex industry, manual labour industries such as construction, manufacturing and factory work, and drug trafficking. Charlotte travelled from Croydon to Nigeria in 2014 to work as a tutor. However, once she arrived in Lagos her passport was confiscated, and she was prevented from leaving the house. Charlotte was able to return home after her parents rang her employers day and night, pressuring them to let her come home. When she arrived home, Charlotte became a member of the Croydon Community Against Trafficking in order to educate people on the nature of human trafficking.

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Diane Martin

Despite having the lowest regional prevalence of modern slavery in the world, Europe remains a destination, and to a lesser extent, a source region for the exploitation of men, women and children in forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation. Trafficking for sexual exploitation is the most widespread for of modern slavery with an 84% of victims trafficked for this purpose. The majority of those trafficked for this purpose are women and young girls who often originate from Eastern Europe within the EU as well as Sub-Saharan Africa, with the majority of people being trafficked from Nigeria to various parts of Europe including Italy, France, Spain and the UK through an array of complex trafficking networks.  Diane was in her teens when she was forced in to prostitution, first in London and then being trafficked through a prostitution ring to another country. Subjected to physical abuse daily Diane tried to escape and fly back home to the UK, however upon arrival she was met by a trafficker. Diane tells of the physical and mental effects of trafficking, the healing she has gone through and the importance of organisations who support and educate on human trafficking. 

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Sophie Hayes

Despite having the lowest regional prevalence of modern slavery in the world, Europe remains a destination, and to a lesser extent, a source region for the exploitation of men, women and children in forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation. Trafficking for sexual exploitation is the most widespread for of modern slavery with an 84% of victims trafficked for this purpose. The majority of those trafficked for this purpose are women and young girls who often originate from Eastern Europe within the EU as well as Sub-Saharan Africa, with the majority of people being trafficked from Nigeria to various parts of Europe including Italy, France, Spain and the UK through an array of complex trafficking networks.  Sophie Hayes was deceived by a man who said he loved her. She was forced to work on the streets of Italy, was beaten up, force-fed and turned into a ‘product’. Sophie is a survivor determined to turn her horrendous experiences into positive ones and doing everything in her power to make a difference and empower survivors of trafficking to build hope-filled futures. 

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Maya

There are an estimated 136,000 people living on conditions of modern slavery un the United Kingdom (Global Slavery Index 2018). According to the 2017 annual figures provided by the National Crime Agency, 5, 145 potential victims of modern slavery were referred through the National Referral Mechanism in 2017, of whom 2,454 were female, 2688 were male and 3 were transgender, with 41% of all referrals being children at the time of exploitation. People are subjected to slavery in the UK in the form of domestic servitude, labour exploitation, organ harvesting and sexual exploitation, with the largest number of potential victims originating from Albania, China, Vietnam and Nigeria. This data however does not consider the unknown numbers of victims that are not reported.   Maya was just 12 years old when she was forced into the world of commercial sexual exploitation. Despite going to school, having foster parents and social workers, nobody in her life recognised the signs of her exploitation. Maya was finally rescued when a policeman refused to dismiss the signs and looked further in to her situation. Maya’s narrative demonstrates the importance of continued support for survivor’s of slavery. 

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Suzzan Blac

The UK National Crime Agency estimates 3,309 potential victims of human trafficking came into contact with the State or an NGO in 2014. The latest government statistics derived from the UK National Referral Mechanism in 2014 reveal 2,340 potential victims of trafficking from 96 countries of origin, of whom 61 percent were female and 29 percent were children. Of those identified through the NRM, the majority were adults classified as victims of sexual exploitation followed by adults exploited in the domestic service sector and other types of labour exploitation. While a number of victims are trafficked from other countries such as Albania, Romania and Nigeria into the UK, UK residents are also vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation.  Suzzan Blac was born in 1960 in Birmingham to a dysfunctional family in which she experienced physical, emotional and sexual abuse. In 1976 she travelled to London for what she thought was a job interview, after meeting with her employer and having her mother sign a contract and consent form Suzzan thought she would begin a new life in London. However, she was taken to an old hotel building, raped by her employer and multiple other men before being forced, along with other young girls, to perform sexually in front of both a video and still camera. Subjected daily to threats, beatings and rape, Suzzan learned how to numb her mind. At the age of 16 Suzzan was able to escape from her traffickers with the help of one of the men involved in the trafficking ring. However, while she may have been physically free, she felt her mind was still trapped. At the age of 18 filled with guilt, shame and self-blame she sought medical help but was not given the support she needed by doctors who either gave her drugs to numb her feelings or abused her further. It wasn’t until the birth of her daughter at the age of 28 that Suzzan says she began to recognise her past abuse and the understanding of true motherhood. During the years 2000-2004 she was compelled to paint 42 images about her abuse in order to help process her pain and trauma into something tangible. Suzzan did not reveal these paintings for a further 10 years, finally deciding in 2011 that being a survivor was not enough, she wanted to be a voice for other survivors. Suzzan’s work is now exhibited around the world and she continues to be a voice for survivors, using her blog on The Violence of Pornography and her art in seminars to train social workers on child sexual abuse and trafficking. 

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Jenny

At least one child a day is trafficked into Britain according the to the Human Trafficking Foundation, with children forced to work in the sex industry, domestic service, cannabis cultivation or as criminal on the streets.  Child victims of human trafficking primarily originate from Romania, Vietnam, Nigeria, and from within the UK itself. UK children continue to be subjected to sex trafficking within the country. Children in the care system and unaccompanied migrant children are particularly vulnerable to trafficking.  Jenny was 13 when her 70-year-old neighbour Keith began giving her lifts to school and buying her gifts. After a while Keith began to demand Jenny repay him for her generosity, forcing her to have sex with him. As months passed Keith began inviting other men to the house and forcing Jenny to have sex with them to pay off his debts. At the age of 17 Jenny left home and found a place at a women’s refuge, it was the first of many attempts to get help and escape, but had developed an addiction to drugs. She kept going back as she felt that is all she was worth. One day the police put her in touch with Victim Support who referred Jenny to the Salvation Army who took her to a safe house.

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Mark

Despite having the lowest regional prevalence of modern slavery in the world, Europe remains a destination, and to a lesser extent, a source region for the exploitation of men, women and children in forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation. According to the most recent Eurostat findings, European Union (EU) citizens account for 65 percent of identified trafficked victims within Europe. These individuals mostly originate from Eastern Europe, including Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Slovakia. Mark Ovenden is a survivor of modern slavery. In an interview with the BBC, he recounts how he was offered accommodation and employment just outside his hometown in Southern England. At the time – Sept. 2009 – he had no job and was eating out of soup kitchens, so he jumped at the chance to earn some money. But things did not turn out as Ovenden expected. Between Sept. 2009 and April 2010, he moved with the family to different areas in the U.K., Holland and Sweden where he was forced to work for either no money or minimal pay. The work – taking up and laying driveways – was physical, repetitive and generally involved labouring for long hours. Ovenden, who said he had no support network of friends or family at the time, soon became completely dependent on his bosses.

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Rebecca

UK children continue to be subjected to sex trafficking within the country. Children in the care system and unaccompanied migrant children are particularly vulnerable to trafficking. Rebecca was sexually abused and exploited as a child and only left her situation as an adult when she experienced such violence that she ended up in hospital. Here she discusses how societal gender norms contribute to and justify abuse to women and girls.

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Mike

The UK National Crime Agency estimates 3,309 potential victims of human trafficking came into contact with the State or an NGO in 2014. The latest government statistics derived from the UK National Referral Mechanism in 2014 reveal 2,340 potential victims of trafficking from 96 countries of origin, of whom 61 percent were female and 29 percent were children. Migrant workers in the UK are subjected to forced labour in agriculture, cannabis cultivation, construction, food processing, factories, domestic service, nail salons, food services, car washes, and on fishing boats. In Northern Ireland, migrants from Albania and Romania are particularly vulnerable to forced labour, including in agricultural work. Mike’s account highlights the lasting effects of the physical abuse experienced during enslavement and forced labour.Mike was sleeping rough after the financial crisis when he was offered work near London. Mike, along with other men was forced to live in a shed and go round knocking on doors for jobs under the threat of physical abuse.