© 2024 New Hampshire Public Radio

Persons with disabilities who need assistance accessing NHPR's FCC public files, please contact us at publicfile@nhpr.org.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Purchase your tickets now for a chance to win our next prize of a kayak and paddle!

13,000 Modern Slaves Working In U.K., London Says

Police help a potential victim of trafficking as they raid a brothel in west London in 2011. Note: the victim's face is obscured to protect her identity.
Lewis Whyld
PA Photos/Landov
Police help a potential victim of trafficking as they raid a brothel in west London in 2011. Note: the victim's face is obscured to protect her identity.

As many as 13,000 people in the U.K. are victims of modern slavery, including sex trafficking, those "imprisoned" as domestic helpers, factory workers and on fishing boats, according to a new analysis release by Britain's Home Office.

According to the BBC, the Home Office says victims, including women and girls forced into prostitution or manual labor on farms, in factories and on fishing boats for little or no pay, include people from more than 100 countries, with Albania, Nigeria, Vietnam and Romania, heading the list, although British-born adults and children were also included.

"The first step to eradicating the scourge of modern slavery is acknowledging and confronting its existence," Home Secretary Theresa May was quoted by The Associated Press as saying. "The estimated scale of the problem in modern Britain is shocking and these new figures starkly reinforce the case for urgent action."

The BBC reports:

"Data from the National Crime Agency's Human Trafficking Centre last year put the number of slavery victims in the UK at 2,744.

"The assessment was collated from sources including police, the UK Border Force, charities and the Gangmasters Licensing Authority.

"The Home Office said it used established statistical methodology and models from other public policy contexts to estimate a 'dark figure' that may not have come to the NCA's attention."

Rape Crisis London says that "hundreds of women and children are trafficked into the UK every year."

In a 2012 report, Russia Today quoted Paul Donahoe, press officer at the British charity Anti-Slavery International as saying that teenagers from rural Vietnam, many orphans, are often lured to the U.K. with false promises of jobs in restaurants only to be forced to work in illegal Cannabis farms.

"He continued that women from Nigeria, many of whom have sworn to their traffickers not to run away or go to the authorities, arrive in the UK and are forced to work in prostitution.

"'They never pay off their debt and are forced to keep working until they are no longer useful,' he explained."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.