Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Human Trafficking

The Trade in Human Beings : Human Trafficking in the UK
Sixth report of the Home Affairs Committee
HC paper 23 I-II

This two volume work has recently landed on my desk and as I was cataloguing it I was appalled at the key facts that were mentioned.
Some of the facts are :
1. At a conservative estimate there are at least 5,000 trafficking victims in the UK.
2. There are about 8,000 women work in off-street prostitution in London alone.
3. It is also estimated that 330 child victims will be trafficked into the UK each year 4. That each sex trafficker earns on average £500-£1000 per woman per week.
5. There are only 100-300 prosecutions for trafficking across the EU each year.
6. About 60% of suspected child victims in local authority care go missing and are not subsequently found.
In the introduction it mentions that although we are becoming more aware of human trafficking as we read in the news about the Chinese cockle-pickers that died in Morecombe Bay in 2004. It seems that although slavery has been abolished the insidious form of trading human beings for forced labour and sexual exploitation still takes place in this developed country.
What is Human Trafficking?
The Un defines human trafficking as: the recruitment, transportation, transfer harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat to use force of other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, or deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.

It boils down to the victims are in effect “owned” by the traffickers.

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