Over 2,000 people were illegally trafficked into the United Kingdom as slaves last year and Britain’s anti-slavery commissioner has called for action to be taken on the large number of people coming from Africa.
With a job title that would sound better placed in the 19th century when Britain abolished slavery, anti-slavery commissioner Kevin Hyland has spoken out about the resurgent spectre of the abuse which vanished from Britain before returning only recently among migrant communities. Speaking to Radio Four’s Today Programme of the large numbers of slaves imported to Britain from Africa, Hyland said:
“I am extremely concerned about this. And we’re talking about several hundred every year. This isn’t just a one-off – it’s continuous – so the treatment of these people, what they go through, is actually a very serious crime, so for me it’s a big problem.
“But also I think the fact that there is a demand for this kind of exploitation in the United Kingdom really concerns me, that there are people who will want to buy sex, will want to exploit, will want to have children as what are current-day slaves, so that is a really serious problem”.
Although the government doesn’t know exactly how many people are trafficked into the United Kingdom every year, the estimate was 2,744 “potential victims of trafficking” for exploitation in 2013, but remarkably revised that number upward to 13,000 at the end of 2014. The Guardian reports the number of slaves coming from Nigeria is on the rise, enjoying a 31 per cent rise in 2014 from the previous year.
Long thought an extinct practice in the Western world, slavery has again been establishing itself in nations which once fought to abolish the practice. Breitbart London reported last month on such a case in Spain, where a 11-year-old girl was sold within the Roma Gypsy community for just £11,000, being condemned to a life of beatings and rapes by not only her new ‘husband’, but also by other members of his family.