UK MPs demand urgent help for unaccompanied children at Calais camp

22/3/16  Three Syrian refugee children have arrived legally in the UK by train from Calais, but a Labour and Conservative MP visiting the camps said the government needed to take urgent steps to help hundreds more children living in dire conditions.

Yvette Cooper, chair of Labour’s refugee taskforce, and Conservative MP Heidi Allen, described their anger and distress after meeting some of the estimated 450 unaccompanied child refugees living in caravans and tents in France on Monday.

Cooper and Allen returned to the UK by Eurostar in the afternoon on the same train with three Syrian boys who they have helped to travel to England legally.

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Red Cross warns of humanitarian crisis as destitute refugee women forced into prostitution

21/3/2016  HUNDREDS of refugee women in Scotland are facing “inhumane and unacceptable” exploitation, including being forced into prostitution and domestic servitude, leaving them despairing and suicidal.

The British Red Cross is now warning that refugee destitution is an “emerging humanitarian crisis” in the UK.

A group of eight destitute women from countries including Zimbabwe, Zambia, Gambia and Pakistan, all reporting regularly to the Home Office and being supported by Maryhill Integration Network and other charities in Glasgow, spoke to the Sunday Herald about “living outside of humanity” as a result of the UK Government’s policy of making refused asylum seekers destitute, homeless and without resource to public funds or services.

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Seven arrests in human trafficking operation in Bristol

14/3/16  Police arrested seven people and seized jewellery, £40,000 in cash and several “expensive cars” in an operation targeting human trafficking in Bristol.

Officers arrested five men at their homes in South Bristol while two others were detained at Gatwick Airport.

They are being questioned about human trafficking, money laundering, cannabis production and documentation offences.

Searches have also been carried out at two car washes and a nightclub in Old Market.

Det Insp Chris Saunders said they were now “working with potential victims”.

“It’s clearly early days and one of the biggest issues which we face is that often, victims don’t see themselves as such,” he added.

“It takes time to establish their individual circumstances and what their experiences have been. Building their trust to support the investigation is crucial.”

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Pair jailed in slavery case after forcing woman into prostitution

8/3/16   A man and a woman have been jailed in the first case to be tried in the East Midlands under new Modern Slavery Act legislation.

Hungarian nationals Istvan Vinter, who is 57 and 23-year-old Maria Gaspar forced a woman into prostitution while she was kept at properties in Nottingham during August and September 2015.

A second woman was sold to a male for a sham marriage in London.

Both women had been trafficked to the UK after being lured by the pair with promises of work in a hotel.

Once in the UK, the women, who did not speak English, were then ‘sold’ to buyers.

The victim in Nottingham was forced to have sex with men and had her identity documents taken from her so she could not flee.

She was also offered for marriage to one man and even taken to a nightclub where she was offered for sex to another.

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What’s in a code? Eliminating slavery, for a start!

7 / 3 / 2016  In 2011 the socially conscious retailer, Patagonia, declared to the world:

“We quite frankly discovered modern slavery in our supply chain”

Patagonia first became aware of this after they extended their social responsibility audits during the roll-out of their ethical procurement code to include their Tier 2 suppliers. Adam Fetcher, Patagonia’s global director of PR stated that it became an urgent priority to fix it. In December 2015 a new standard took effect through their entire supply chain.

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