Today in 1769, Thomas Clarkson was born in Wisbech in Cambridgeshire. Without Thomas Clarkson’s research, William Wilberforce would not have had enough ammunition to win his noble course against the transatlantic human trafficking business. Naturally,without Wilberforce’s parliamentary connections, Clarkson would not have had enough ammunition either.
Thomas Clarkson was born in Wisbech and today Wisbech is where a lot of agencies are based supplying migrant labour to farms across East Anglia. The other centre is Thetford in Norfolk. A lot of migrant workers are being exploited. People intending to exploit use the language barrier and therefore purposely employ migrant workers for that reason. They then get them to sign complex contracts written in complex English that they would not be able to understand. As they are written in English instead of the languages of the people who are signing them, migrant workers haven’t a clue what they are signing. Due to migrant workers not understanding the contracts they are exploited. I have brought up this issue with our brilliant Conservative MP, Ben Gummer in relation to the Modern Slavery Bill and he is looking into it.
When arguing their cause, Thomas Clarkson et al, used the phrase ‘exact intelligence’ based on Clarkson’s research.
There is exact intelligence of lots of cases of migrant workers being paid as little as £4.50 an hour.
A classic example is waiting for the mobile phone to ring and having it ring at 10 o’clock at night to say there’s work on. The migrant worker then has to go to a pick up point in the middle of nowhere at 5 o’clock in the morning to be picked up by an unmarked white van. They then spend a long day working and are dropped off in the middle of nowhere again. There have been cases where the migrant worker has ended up being trafficked.
Also concerning modern slavery, I have received exact intelligence this week concerning Rumanian brothels. One in the Duke Street area of Ipswich, one in the Saint Matthews Street area of Ipswich and one in Sudbury, all connected. Women have been rescued and three people have been charged. This abhorrent, criminal activity is out there so keep your eyes open so together society can defeat it.