Plymouth’slave’ traffickers jailed for exploiting Czech men

1/11/16  A gang which trafficked men to the UK to work as “slaves” and “crushed their spirits” with demeaning treatment have all been jailed.

The group, all Czech nationals, treated their victims – who were routinely threatened and humiliated – as “cash cows”, a court heard.

Five defendants were found guilty after a trial at Plymouth Crown Court.

Gangmaster Ruzena Tancosova, 36, and enforcer Petr Tancos, 37, were both jailed for six and a half years.

Martin Tancos, 37, was jailed for three years, Nela Dzurkova, 28, for two and a half years, and Katerina Kurejova, 37, was sentenced to two years in prison.

Slavery protection orders were imposed on all five defendants as well as judicial recommendation for deportation.

‘Stripping away freedom’

The victims, who were brought to Plymouth from the Czech Republic, were beaten and told they would be killed if they tried to escape.

They had to forage in bins for food, some had to live in cupboards and were often humiliated, the court heard.

Read more….

Other News…

Slavery and trafficking victims rescued and exploiters arrested during ‘successful’ crackdown

31/10/16  NEARLY 30 arrests were made and 18 victims of slavery or human trafficking rescued across Greater Manchester during a successful week-long regional crackdown.

Homes and businesses in Bolton were among the 207 different address visited by Greater Manchester Police officers, firefighters, immigration officials, tax officials, council officers, officials from the NHS and Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and representatives from campaign charity Stop The Traffik.

They were looking for criminals subjecting British nationals and foreigners alike to sexual exploitation, forced labour and domestic servitude and to save suspected victims, who were sheltered at a reception centre run by the Red Cross where specially trained staff provided much-needed care, support and rehabilitation.

Read more…

Former slave shares heartbreaking story after being forced to work – ‘Now I make my own decisions’

26/10/16  Bristol has a terrible history when it comes to slavery, but if you think it has been eradicated entirely, you are wrong.

Polish national Tomaz was trafficked into Britain and forced into labour, with his wages being withheld from him.

He was found by police officers during a raid earlier this year, and is now living in a safe house in Bristol, operated by charity Unseen.

He is sharing his story for the first time after news yesterday that two men were on suspicion of assault and human trafficking in the Redcliffe area of Bristol.

Read more….

55% could not spot signs of modern slavery – study

19/10/16 The majority of the public are unaware of the most common signs of modern day slavery, according to new research.

A study by the University of Hull to mark Anti-Slavery Day found 55% of people did not know how to spot if someone was being held as a slave.

Additionally, one-third of people did not know slavery affects men and children as well as women.

The Home Office estimates around 1,300 people are trapped in slavery in the UK.

John Oldfield, director of the Wilberforce Institute at the University of Hull, said there is still a “critical amount of work to be done” to increase public awareness about slavery.

“Modern day slavery often plays out in plain sight and can be difficult to detect, especially if people don’t know what signs to look for,” he said.

Read more…

FTSE 100 slow to report on fight against modern slavery

17/10/16 Only 2 UK groups issue rigorous statements on steps taken to address risk in their supply chains.

Marks and Spencer and SABMiller, now part of Anheuser-Busch InBev, were the only two FTSE 100 companies so far to issue rigorous statements on their actions to combat the risk of modern slavery in their supply chains, a study has found.

Only 27 groups in the FTSE 100 have reported under the Modern Slavery Act. Their statements were analysed and the companies scored on their actions and extent of their disclosure under the legislation, in a report by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.

The UK passed the act last year, under which any company with a turnover of more than £36m operating in the country is required to issue report on the steps it is taking to address the risk of modern slavery in its business. It is the first national legislation of its kind.

Read more… 

Police not recording most UK slavery cases as crimes, says report

13/10/16  UK police forces are failing victims of modern slavery by not recording what happens to them as crimes, meaning many cases are never investigated, the independent anti-slavery commissioner has said in his first annual report.

Kevin Hyland, whose job was created under last year’s Modern Slavery Act, said just over a quarter of the 3,000-plus slavery cases identified in England and Wales last year under the national referral mechanism (NRM) for recording the offence resulted in crimes recorded by police.

The situation was similarly bad in Scotland, Hyland noted in his report, although the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) logged every one of the offences referred to it.

Read more…

International Day of the Girl

11/10/16 Just being born can be an accomplishment, as more female foetuses are aborted than male…. Last week, the children’s agency, Unicef, published figures that showed girls between the ages of five and 14 spend 40% more time doing unpaid housework and collecting water than boys – a trend that will continue into adulthood, UN Women found in its flagship report last year.

Read more … theGuardian 

Fifa faces legal challenge over Qatar migrant workers

10/10/16  Fifa is facing legal action in the Swiss courts over its alleged complicity in the mistreatment of migrant workers in Qatar ahead of the 2022 World Cup, the Guardian can reveal.

Since Fifa voted in December 2010 to hold the World Cup in the tiny Gulf state, Qatar has faced intense criticism over the plight of an army of migrant workers that soared to 1.7 million as the country embarked on a construction spree to build the stadiums and infrastructure required.

But the legal challenge, brought by the Netherlands Trade Union Confederation (FNV) on behalf of a Bangladeshi migrant worker called Nadim Sharaful Alam, is the first time that Fifa has been made directly accountable in the Swiss courts.

Read more …

No company wants slavery in its supply chain, so why are so many sitting on their hands?

4/10/2016 Decisive company action to end slavery and trafficking can bring dignity and freedom back to workers’ lives

Friday was a red letter day in the global fight against modern slavery. It was the deadline for the first companies to report under the UK Modern Slavery Act. Over 700 of these statements are available in a central Registry maintained by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre. That number increases daily.

This UK legislation should be transformative. It has global reach estimated to apply to at least 12,000 companies worldwide. It obliges all large companies operating in UK markets to report on the steps they are taking to combat slavery and trafficking in their own operations and supply chains. This represents, globally, the most significant legislative requirement on companies on the issue of modern slavery.

From the migrant workers trapped on fishing boats in Thailand with the threat of being thrown overboard if they are not able to work, to the Eastern European car wash slaves in Cambridgeshire forced to work long hours for poverty wages, and living in “Dickensian” conditions; modern slavery ravages the lives of 45.8 million vulnerable people and their families worldwide.

Read more…

Your Backyard or Mine? Britain’s Modern Slavery Getting Closer to Home

29/9/2016  The hidden costs of recycling in Britain has been revealed after around a dozen Polish men were discovered by police living in slave-like conditions and paid paltry sums to sort rubbish for 12 hours a day.

Officers in the West Midlands raided two recycling businesses as part of an investigation into modern slavery in Britain. Six Polish men were discovered at Black Country Recycling in Oldbury and CAP Recycling in West Bromwich; three were found living in a flat and two more men in a van outside a suspect’s house in West Bromwich.

Read more: