From Anti Slavery International,
As lockdown is finally easing for much of the UK, many of us will be feeling relieved to return to the freedoms enjoyed just a few months ago.
While this is great news for many of us, sadly, there are still tens of thousands of people in the UK who remain in permanent lockdown – adults and children who have been trafficked for sexual and labour exploitation.
For these people, lockdown is a daily reality – their lives controlled by criminals through unpayable debts, withheld passports, threatened deportation or violence. Often people are held in squalid conditions and deprived of even the most basic necessities.
Amy*, 14, was groomed into a criminal gang to sell drugs and was exploited for sex. “I was tied up and trapped in a room for hours. I can’t tell you how long, because I was drugged. I was force-fed, and still people would have sex with me.” Amy had to endure this ordeal for more than a year before she was able to escape.
Right now, we’re asking the Government to make it much harder for traffickers to exploit vulnerable people in the UK. This includes workplace inspections to expose forced labour and increasing the capacity of the Police and prosecutors to investigate cases of modern slavery.
We’re also campaigning for better support for survivors of slavery, so they feel safe to come forward and report their experiences, are protected from their traffickers, and can rebuild their futures.