Human Traffic Watch

Posts Tagged ‘UK’

Human trafficking victims tell of drug factory ordeal

In Forced Labor, Human Trafficking on April 8, 2013 at 3:09 pm

In her cramped bedsit in a northern English town, Min talks about the man who brought her here from China. She says that her family were being harassed by the police because they were members of the banned spiritual group Falun Gong. So her grandmother put her into the hands of someone who said he would help her start a new life in Britain.

The journey was more than five years ago, but she still starts to cry when she talks about it. “We stayed in one place for two months, then moved to another place for four months,” she says. “He hit me, kept me incarcerated and told me I couldn’t leave. He said if I tried to escape they would kill my grandmother.”

Their final destination was a cannabis factory in England, where she was again held prisoner. “I had to water the plants. I slept on a small bed and never went outside.” One day her ordeal in the house came to a sudden end. “The police knocked on the door, burst in and two of them grabbed me.”

Min was charged with cannabis cultivation and sentenced to 12 months in prison. It was only after she finished the sentence that the UK Border Agency acknowledged she was “reasonably likely” to be a victim of trafficking.

The question of how the police and courts should treat people like Min, who commit crimes as a result of being trafficked, is currently the focus of a fierce legal battle in the UK and Europe.

Source: The Guardian


Sex Trafficking Victims ‘Failed’ By Authorities

In Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Sex Trafficking on March 12, 2013 at 9:04 am


Ministers, police and social workers have been accused of failing to tackle the “shocking underworld” of human trafficking.

The Centre for Social Justice think tank says the Government is “clueless” about the scale of the problem.

More than 1,000 trafficking victims were found last year, including a significant number of British children.

CSJ managing director Christian Guy said: “Our research has uncovered a shocking underworld in which children and adults, many of them UK citizens, have been forced into lives of utter degradation.

“The authorities are either failing to understand the nature of this abuse or turning a blind eye to its existence.

“Our once great nation of abolitionists is a shameful shadow of its former self.”

Source: Yahoo! News

Professionals to receive training to spot child trafficking

In Awareness, Human Trafficking on February 1, 2013 at 8:39 am

Professionals working with children and young people will receive specialist training to spot and help victims of child trafficking as part of a Home Office scheme.

The initiative, designed for youth workers, social workers, GPs and midwives, will be rolled out across London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Liverpool, Leeds and Brighton.

The training is part of the government’s strategy to support victims who are “lured to the UK by gangs and then exploited for sex, labour and domestic slavery”, including the rising number of children being forced into crime, such as street begging and cannabis cultivation.

The NSPCC is among five organisations that have received £70,000 of Home Office funding to provide training as part of continuing professional development courses for the children and young people’s workforce.

Source: Children & Young People Now

Fear Of Witchcraft Fuelling Child Trafficking To The UK

In Awareness, Child Trafficking, Human Trafficking on December 1, 2012 at 2:36 pm

“It’s a major concern of ours because the work we’ve done has shown up how cultural belief systems are being used as a means of psychological control,” he says. “We have come across cases where trafficked children as young as five have been made to swear an oath to keep silent about the circumstances of their arrival in the UK. They have been told that if they break that oath they will be cursed for the rest of their lives or that evil spirits may kill them. Fear of witchcraft is so strong that physical violence is rarely needed to ensure a victim does not run away.”

He added: “It is often very hard for child protection professionals working in local authorities and elsewhere to understand how witchcraft abuse can have such a powerful effect over individuals. This often leads to such cases not being explored fully.

Signs such as the presence of an adult who is not a member of the family, for example, are easy to spot as potential indicators of human trafficking. But there are no physical indicators to point out that a child is fearful of witchcraft or spirit possession. This makes it particularly hard to support victims of trafficking and to investigate and prosecute traffickers.

Source: The Voice

‘Evil’ Nigerian people smuggler used witchcraft to terrify girls into sex slavery

In Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on November 5, 2012 at 9:07 am

An ‘evil’ Nigerian people smuggler who used witchcraft rituals to force terrified children to work as sex slaves has been convicted of trafficking and rape.

Young victims were raped, sexually abused and subjected to voodoo-style rituals once in the clutches of the  trafficking ring.

One girl had hair cut from her armpits by a man wearing feathers. Others were slashed with knives, forced to drink foul-smelling potions and had blood taken with syringes to ‘cast a spell’ over them.

The girls were told they would die or never bear children if they tried to escape or revealed what had happened to them.

The man responsible, Osezua Osolase, 42, was on the surface a recycling worker living in a terraced house in Gravesend, Kent. But he was in fact the British linchpin of a multi-million pound global child sex trafficking ring that used medieval ‘juju’ black magic to control its victims.

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Cuts threaten Scotland Yard’s anti-trafficking unit

In Awareness, Human Trafficking on October 28, 2012 at 3:07 pm

The future of Scotland Yard’s pioneering anti-trafficking unit is uncertain less than a year after David Cameron promised to make Britain a “world leader” in the fight against people smuggling.

Senior police sources have voiced fears that the Metropolitan police’s flagship trafficking unit, the human exploitation and organised crime command (SCD9), may be forced to lose specialist officers due to budget constraints. Government figures last week showed the number being trafficked into the UK was rising. But immigration minister Mark Harper warned that the number of those being prosecuted was still “not enough”.

Campaigners say any attempt to downsize the specialist unit for tackling trafficking would undermine the Met’s fight to stop organised trafficking syndicates operating in the UK.

Source: Guardian

Human trafficking victim driven to Chaddesden, Derby

In Child Trafficking, Human Trafficking on October 12, 2012 at 1:44 pm

A teenage human trafficking victim who believes she has been in the UK for about three years is being helped by police after being driven to Derby.

The 17-year-old was dropped off in Chaddesden on Thursday afternoon by a man driving a dark blue car.

She began asking for directions to a police station and was directed to a station in Roe Farm Lane, where she arrived at about 18:00 BST.

Officers want to speak to passers-by who offered help to the woman.

Derbyshire Police said the teenager does not know where in the UK she has been.

Source: BBC

Girl shows scars in child trafficking trial

In Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on September 28, 2012 at 9:17 am

A 15-year-old girl has shown a jury scars on her body which she alleges were the result of juju magic rituals.

The teenager has claimed she was made to swear an oath to obey a man now accused of trafficking children into the UK for prostitution.

Former security guard Osezua Elvis Osolase,42, from Beaumont Drive, Gravesend has denied 13 offences of trafficking, rape, false imprisonment and sexual activity with a child.

She is the second prosecution witness to give evidence at the trial at Canterbury Crown Court.

Earlier the jury heard from prosecutor Sarah Ellis how a 17-year-old from Nigeria became frightened after being told that a friend of her mother had sold her as a slave in Lagos.

She added: “The girl was scared also because she did not know what they were going to use her for and was mindful that in Nigeria they use human beings for sacrifice.”

The prosecution has alleged that Osolase posed a “Victor” and “Uncle”  and used witchcraft and juju rituals to bring young girls to Britain before sending them to Italy to become prostitutes.

Source: Kenton Online

Heavy sentences in fight against sex traffickers

In Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on May 6, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Convicted of controlling prostitution and human trafficking for sexual exploitation. Sandra Malina & Ainars Zvirgzds. Photo: Met Police

A couple from Poplar, have been been jailed for a total of 16 years April 27 2012 for trafficking women into the UK and forcing them to work as prostitutes.
Snaresbrook Crown Court heard that Sandra Malina, 22 and Ainars Zvirgzds, 44, lured women from Latvia and Lithuania with the promise that they could get jobs in massage salons, and that sex with the clients was optional.

The prosecution case was that when they arrived in the UK, their passports were taken off them and they were sent to work as prostitutes. It was alleged that the women were beaten by their captors, and threatened with a gun, if they refused to comply.

Source: East London Lines

Two-fifths of UK trafficking victims are male, survey reveals

In Human Trafficking on April 30, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Men account for more than two-fifths (41%) of adult victims of human trafficking in England and Wales helped by the Salvation Army, contrary to the public perception that the crime almost exclusively affects women.

The finding comes in a survey by the charity, which provides specialist support for the adult victims of trafficking on behalf of the Ministry of Justice.

The Salvation Army, which began the support service six months ago, also dealt with the first recorded case of an individual being trafficked to Britain to have their organs harvested. The case, involving an unnamed woman brought to the UK by an organised gang, is understood to be the subject of a police investigation, the Telegraph reports.

The charity’s survey found that 45% of those it supported had been forced into sexual exploitation, 43% were involved in labour exploitation and 8% were trafficked into domestic servitude.

This contradicted a survey of English and Welsh adults carried out by YouGov, which found that respondents thought 29% of all trafficked victims in England and Wales were male, and 68% of all trafficked victims were sexually exploited.

Source: Guardian

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