SLAVERY – IT’S CLOSER THAN YOU THINK!
Anti Slavery Day fell on 18 October and many Soroptimists in the UK and throughout the World chose to highlight this problem. SI Easter Ross took the opportunity to raise this issue by having a stand in Alness High Street. We may not think that modern day slavery is happening here in the Highlands, but be assured it is. Many people in Alness visited our stand and took away leaflets and we feel that if just one person has been able to pick up the phone and speak to someone about a possible abuse, then we have helped.
What is Modern ay Slavery?
Slavery is not an issue confined to history or an issue that only exists in certain countries – it is something that is still happening today. It is a global problem and the UK is no exception.
Victims found in the UK come from many different countries, including Romania, Albania, Nigeria, Vietnam and the UK itself, 90 were UK nationals in 2013.
The practice still continues today in one form or another in every country in the world. From women forced into prostitution, children sexually exploited, children and adults forced to work in agriculture, domestic work, or factories and sweatshops producing goods for global supply chains, entire families forced to work for nothing to pay off generational debts; or girls forced to marry older men, the illegal practice still blights contemporary world.
There are many different characteristics that distinguish slavery from other human rights violations, however only one needs to be present for slavery to exist. Someone is in slavery if they are:
- forced to work – through mental or physical threat;
- owned or controlled by an ’employer’, usually through mental or physical abuse or the threat of abuse;
- dehumanised, treated as a commodity or bought and sold as ‘property’;
- physically constrained or has restrictions placed on his/her freedom of movement.
Contemporary slavery takes various forms and affects people of all ages, gender and races.
Poverty, limited opportunities at home, lack of education, unstable social and political conditions, economic imbalances and war are some of the key drivers that contribute to trafficking of victims. What’s more victims can often face more than one type of abuse and slavery, for example if they are sold to another trafficker and then forced into another form of exploitation.
If you think that someone is involved and they need help then call – calls can be made unanimously 0800 0121 700 or visit the modern day slavery website: www.moderndayslavery.co.uk