Of course slavery still exists… but in Britain?
02 Jun 2014 12:00 am by Mark Dunn
Human Trafficking Reporting in the United Kingdom for June 2014
Looking back over the news for May 2014, Human Trafficking related articles for the UK stands at 104% against the baseline of the the LexisNexis Human Trafficking Awareness Index™. This represents 348 trafficking-related articles published by the British and Irish media during May 2014 compared to 355 the previous month. What is of note is the number of publications using their readership to raise awareness of human trafficking. Some of these are highlighted in this month’s review.
Slave trade on the rise across Wales
Showing how close to home the problem of human trafficking is, media outlets reported on the rise in the slave trade in Wales. The Western Mail noted that ‘Reports of slavery jumped 47% in Wales last year with men, woman and children all falling victim.’ With referrals of potential victims jumping to 50 in Wales alone last year, this number is seen as just the tip of the iceberg. As a response, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Welsh Government have launched a campaign to educate how people are being sold into the sex trade, forced to work for nothing in menial jobs or even have their organs harvested and sold to the highest bidder. Spearheading the campaign is a hard-hitting anti-slavery video which lists tell-tale signs of a slavery victim. Picking up the story, walesonline.co.uk contained a hyperlink to the video online: http://wales.gov.uk/topics/people-and-communities/safety/anti-slavery/?lang=en. Kim Ann Williamson who is heading the anti-slavery and human trafficking awareness drive for the Crown Prosecution Service in Wales noted in the article that 'Raising awareness will enable us to crack down on slavery'.
20.9 million people are working as slaves in the 21st century
The Grimsby Telegraph picks up on the perceived ignorance of the modern generation on slavery. 'Everybody knows that these things happen but some things that you would think stopped happening many years ago, still go on. Things like slavery … Would it shock you to know that this all still happens today?' The feature notes that the slave trade is very much alive with a recent survey by the International Labour Organisation revealing that up to 20.9 million people are working as slaves in the 21st century. 'Slavery comes in many forms. For example, bonded labour, domestic labour, child slavery, and trafficking; all forms can contain elements of each other. Call it what you want; slavery is slavery and we can no longer keep our heads in the clouds thinking that just because it was abolished, it doesn't happen. Because it does and it will.'
There is probably more trafficking than we are aware of in Plymouth, minister is told
The Plymouth Herald reported on a visit from Karen Bradley, the Minister for Organised Crime and Modern Slavery. As part of the Queen’s speech in Autumn, Karen Bradley is preparing legislation that will crack down on modern slavery and this trip enabled her to meet and hear from people who had been directly affected by slavery in the UK. The article reported how Russell King, unit manager at Ocean Quay – a day service for recovery from drug and alcohol dependency – told her of people helped by a project to escape from Traveller campsites. Ms Bradley heard from one man who had escaped a forced-labour gang who 'found himself being trafficked around the country to work for nothing, frequently starved for days on end. Disobedience was rewarded with beatings - or worse.' Emily Wilkins, manager, said: 'There is probably more trafficking than we are aware of in Plymouth.'
8,000 to 10,000 modern slaves in Britain?
Continuing the theme of lack of awareness, the Plymouth Herald article noted a comment by Chief Inspector Jez Capey who said there were thought to be 8,000 to 10,000 modern slaves in Britain: 'but because it's a hidden crime we don't really know the true numbers.'
The LexisNexis Human Trafficking Awareness Index™ data model highlights emerging trends and patterns of awareness within and across national borders. The Index uses the respected Nexis® service to track and analyse the volume of articles related to human trafficking. Using a licensed collection of almost 6,000 of the most influential news sources from more than 120 countries, the HTA Index highlights emerging trends and patterns of awareness within and across national borders. Activists working to combat human trafficking can use this information to highlight and raise awareness to inform their efforts and gain greater understanding of the news.
This excellent handbook from LexisNexis will not only contribute to a better understanding of the challenges presented by human trafficking but it will become 'an indispensable resource for all concerned with combating this pernicious trade.' (Sir Nicolas Bratza, European Court of Human Rights).