Number of UK human trafficking victims increases by 40 per cent in a year as crime gangs exploit EU free movement rules

29/2/16

  • Some 3,266 people have been trafficked into the UK from 102 countries
  • Victims are being exploited sexually and physically or working as slaves 
  • The number of reported trafficking cases has increased by 40 per cent  

The number of suspected human trafficking victims in the UK has increased by almost 40 per cent in the last year as crime gangs exploit EU free movement rules.

In new official figures, 3,266 immigrants from 102 countries – a third of them children and more than half women – were deemed as victims of human trafficking.

Hundreds and possibly thousands more are believed to remain undetected by authorities and are surviving within the black economy living in substandard accommodation.

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People-trafficking victims with children are ‘overlooked’

23/2/16  Victims of people trafficking who are pregnant or have children have had their needs “systematically overlooked” in the UK, a report has suggested.

Childcare provision for victims is “patchy” and specialist healthcare is not routinely provided, the report by 12 charities said.

Its author Vicky Brotherton said having children made victims more vulnerable, but the UK was “blind to this”.

Home Office minister Karen Bradley said victims were offered tailored support.

The report – by the Anti-Trafficking Monitoring Group – said the provision of access to safe accommodation, specialist healthcare and support for children was not being systematically provided.

It said some children had to be present during their parent’s asylum interviews, often when abuse is disclosed to officials.

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MPs call for action to tackle Bradford’s hidden toll of human trafficking

22/02/16 POLITICIANS are calling for action and vigilance from the public to end the exploitation of vulnerable migrants who become easy prey to ruthless criminals in Bradford.

Labour MP Naz Shah said the ‘hidden cost’ of immigration was the trafficking of people, especially women, who were being exploited by gangs.

She said other migrants were exploited by a ‘low wage culture’.

The Bradford West MP said that Bradford families were also being duped by people offering legal advice without having the necessary qualifications.

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Two charged with slavery offences in Rochdale

15/2/16  A man and a woman have been charged with slavery offences after a 28-year-old woman was found being held in domestic servitude, according to police.

Greater Manchester police said officers attended an address in Bamford, Rochdale, on Thursday and arrested a 47-year-old woman on suspicion of slavery, servitude and forced labour offences under the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

Minu Chopra and Sanjeev Chopra, both 47, from Rochdale, have been charged with holding a person in slavery or servitude between 31 July 2015 and 11 February 2016, intentionally arranging or facilitating entry into the UK of a person with a view to their exploitation, and knowingly holding another person in slavery or servitude between 1 January 2011 and 31 July 2015.

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Yazidi slave survivor urges Britain to help free women in captivity

9/2/16  LONDON, Feb 8 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A young Yazidi survivor of slavery will urge British lawmakers today to help free the thousands of women and girls that remain captive at the hands of Islamic State militants in northern Iraq.

Nadia Murad Basee Taha, 21, who is in London to address the parliamentarians, is also appealing for more help for displaced Yazidis living in refugee camps, and to investigate whether the militant group has committed genocide against the Yazidi people.

Taha took her message to the U.N. Security Council in December, and has spoken to successive governments, appealing to the international community to act.

“The places I’ve spoken to have given me hope … but a year and a half has passed and nothing has happened yet,” she said in an interview.

 

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Enge’s son rallies rock stars against human trafficking

8/2/16  Engelbert Humperdinck’s son and manager is gathering some of the biggest names in music to record a charity album in support of anti-human trafficking.

Scott Dorsey has joined the Rock Against Trafficking campaign, which has already received backing from stars including Slash (Guns and Roses), Julian Lennon, Steven Tyler (Aerosmith), Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple), Andy Fraser, En Vogue, Heart and Neal Schon and Arnel Pineda (Journey).

He is in the process of putting together an album, Set Them Free, with all the proceeds going to a number of charities including Unicef.

Scott said: “I met Gary Miller (the charity’s founder) at a music convention about a year ago in Los Angeles and he explained the project to me.

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Carrying bricks, picking potatoes: all in a day’s work for Syrian children in Lebanon

3/2/16  I met six-year-old Mustafa in the safe zone of one of the many tented settlements for Syrian refugees in Lebanon’s Bekaa valley. These areas offer schooling, including art and music classes, for Syrian children. They provide a respite from the brutal realities of life as a refugee, which can involve back-breaking labour for children as young as six, and marriage for girls at the age of 13.

Mustafa told us that, after leaving class at midday, he would spend the afternoon carting bricks to earn a pittance for his family. One of his classmates, a seven-year-old girl, said she picks potatoes every afternoon – tough, physical work that involves constant bending while carrying a heavy load.

Officially, Lebanon is home to almost 1.2 million refugees, but unofficial estimates put it at more than 1.5 million. Given that its prewar population was just over 4 million, this is an overwhelming burden, one with which any government would struggle to cope.

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Opening the city’s heart to victims of trafficking

2/2/16  Raped, beaten and abused women who manage to escape their lives of misery are being offered refuge in Sheffield by the City Hearts charity, set up to support human trafficking victims.

Each woman has their own heartbreaking story, with many duped by bogus boyfriends into moving to the UK for a better life – only to find themselves forced to have sex with strangers to pay their way, with their controlling ‘boyfriends’ vanishing or turning into their callous captors.
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Nestlé admits slavery in Thailand while fighting child labour lawsuit in Ivory Coast

1/2/16  It’s hard to think of an issue that you would less like your company to be associated with than modern slavery. Yet last November Nestlé, the world’s largest foodmaker and one of the most recognisable household brands, went public with the news it had found forced labour in its supply chains in Thailand and that its customers were buying products tainted with the blood and sweat of poor, unpaid and abused migrant workers.

By independently disclosing that Nestlé customers had unwittingly bought products contaminated by the very worst labour abuses, the company said it was moving into a new era of self-policing of its own supply chains. A year-long investigation by the company confirmed media reports that the seafood industry in Thailand is riddled with forced labour and human trafficking and that slave labour was involved in the production of its Fancy Feast catfood brand.

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