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Street Children

Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

Poverty drives the unsuspecting poor into the hands of traffickers

Published reports & articles from 2000 to 2025                                 

The United Kingdom (UK)

The UK, a leading trading power and financial center, is one of the quintet of trillion dollar economies of Western Europe. Over the past two decades, the government has greatly reduced public ownership and contained the growth of social welfare programs. Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanized, and efficient by European standards, producing about 60% of food needs with less than 2% of the labor force. The UK has large coal, natural gas, and oil resources, but its oil and natural gas reserves are declining and the UK became a net importer of energy in 2005; energy industries now contribute about 4% to GDP. Services, particularly banking, insurance, and business services, account by far for the largest proportion of GDP while industry continues to decline in importance.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: UK

The United Kingdom (UK) is a significant destination and, to a lesser extent, transit country for women, children, and men trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor, primarily from Eastern Europe, Africa, the Balkans, and Asia (principally China, Vietnam, and Malaysia). Some victims, including UK-resident children, are also trafficked within the country. Migrant workers are trafficked to the UK for forced labor in agriculture, construction, food processing, domestic servitude, and food services.  - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009   Check out a later country report here and possibly a full TIP Report here



CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in the UK.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Human Trafficking are of particular interest to you.  Would you like to write about Forced-Labor?  Debt Bondage? Prostitution? Forced Begging? Child Soldiers? Sale of Organs? etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include precursors of trafficking such as poverty and hunger. There is a lot to the subject of Trafficking.  Scan other countries as well.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.

HELP for Victims

Crime Stoppers
Country code: 44-



How London became the child abuse capital of the world

Richard Hoskins, The Daily Mail, Bangkok, 2 August 2014

[accessed 20 April 2015]

Grace explains she was brought from Nigeria to Britain where she was moved from house to house. Then, after two years, she was flown to Bangkok.

She works the streets under the watchful gaze of a pimp because even in the hypocrisy of Thailand she would be too young for the main sex bars.

Here, between Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy, she has a ripe market of sex tourists, many of them British.

The more I ask Grace, the less she tells. She glances over her shoulder. There’s fear in her red-stained eyes. Eyes that have seen too much in so slight a body. For one thing I do discover: Grace is 12 years old.

Britain's 'invisible army' of African slaves

Emily Dugan, The Independent, 13 August 2007

[accessed 19 April 2012]

Dragan Nastic, UNICEF UK's policy and parliamentary officer, said: "The first recognised case of child trafficking in the UK was a Nigerian girl more than 10 years ago in 1995. Here we are in 2007 and there have been no prosecutions made in cases of children trafficked into domestic labour from Africa. Not one."

Nigeria is believed to be the main source country on the continent, where destitute families are either paid for their children or persuaded to give them away believing that they will receive an education and a better life in the UK.  On arrival, children as young as 10 are kept undercover from British society and forced to work as domestic slaves or prostitutes. Behind closed and often locked doors, they work long days for no money, are kept from school and beaten if the work is not done.



NSPCC opens first UK advice line to help combat child trafficking - 0800 107 7057

Press Release, 8 October 2007

[accessed 15 August 2014]

[accessed 11 October 2016]

The NSPCC today (8 October 2007) launches the first advice and information line to protect children trafficked to the UK for sexual exploitation, forced labour, drugs transport, benefit fraud, and other crimes.  The NSPCC Child Trafficking Advice and Information Line (CTAIL) on 0800 107 7057 will help people working with children, such as immigration officers, the police, social workers, teachers, and health workers, to better identify and protect child victims. It will also shed light on the scale of child trafficking in the UK.

“Identifying trafficked children can be very difficult, even for a professional working in social services or immigration. These children are incredibly vulnerable – they might be regularly beaten, raped, denied food and basic comforts, and have no access to healthcare or an education.  Trafficked children have often lost their trust in adults because of the abuse they have suffered. They are afraid to ask for help for fear of retaliation from their trafficker or being treated as criminals by the UK authorities. They may also be confused about what has happened to them, or may not speak any English.  The NSPCC’s new trafficking advice line will help break down these barriers. Its success will depend on adults working with children being vigilant, calling us when they need to know what to do, and intervening to help protect the victims of child trafficking.”


*** ARCHIVES ***

At Least 100,000 Victims of Modern Slavery Just in UK

Judith Bergman, Gatestone Institute, International Policy Council, 14 August 2020

[accessed 14 August 2020]

The protesters of historical slavery could well be wearing clothes produced by the marginalized, victimized modern slaves who have no access to the justice and equality for which the protesters claim to be fighting.

It is telling that both public and private resources, as well as endless media coverage, are being dedicated to the issue of "racist statues" and historical slavery, while the plight of living, suffering modern slaves -- an issue that needs tremendous effort to be tackled to even some degree -- barely interests anyone.

Human trafficking gang guilty of selling women in Glasgow

BBC News, 11 October 2019

[accessed 12 October 2019]

The women were trafficked to the UK, usually by bus and car, having been promised a better life and work.   But when they arrived they were sold for between between £3,000 and £10,000 as part of a sham marriage scheme.

The buyers were mainly men from Pakistan who wanted EU citizenship so they could live and work in Europe, and wanted the women to become their wives.   Some of the victims were used as prostitutes while others were abused by the men who bought them.

During the court case, a 28-year-old woman from Slovakia said she had thought that she and her sister were leaving for jobs in London but she ended up in a flat in Govanhill with no job and no money.   She said she was forced to marry the son of a Pakistani man who had chosen her.

Another woman told the court she was brought over from her home town of Trebisov, when she was four or five months pregnant, "for a better life".  She was handed over to a Nepalese man outside Primark in Argyle Street in 2014 for £10,000.   The woman also claimed that prior to being sold, she was made to sleep with Pakistani men for money and described this as "hitchhiking".

Child victims of human trafficking prosecuted despite CPS rules

aamnamohdin, 17 Sep 2019

[accessed 18 September 2019]

Instead of being granted access to vital care and support following what is often brutal and sustained abuse, vulnerable children and teenagers are being criminalised – resulting in lengthy custodial sentences, which have a devastating impact on the rest of their lives.”

James Simmonds-Read, of the Children’s Society’s exploitation prevention programme, said that the decisions were the result of ignorance and bad judgement.

How I became a victim of a modern slavery gang

Duncan Staff, BBC Panorama, 5 July 2019

[accessed 8 July 2019]

The traffickers enticed victims to the UK with bus tickets and the promise of well-paid work.

Once here they were taken to squalid terraced houses in West Bromwich and Birmingham. They were held, jobless, under guard for weeks while the debts piled up.

Every cigarette, every bit of stale food they were given was added to the tally. Slowly, steadily, they were ensnared.

"That is the isolation phase," says Detective Chief Inspector Nick Dale. "Later, there are threats. The feeling that the traffickers are all-seeing: 'If they leave the house we will find you; you'll go to the woods, and we'll dig a hole'."

2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: United Kingdom

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 29 June 2021]


Forced labor occurred in the UK involving both foreign and domestic workers, mainly in sectors characterized by low-skilled, low-paid manual labor and heavy use of flexible, temporary workers. Those who experienced forced labor practices tended to be poor, living on insecure and subsistence incomes and in substandard accommodations. Forced labor was normally more prevalent among men, women, and children of the most vulnerable minorities or socially excluded groups. The majority of victims were British nationals including minors or young adults forced by criminal gangs to sell drugs.

Albania and Vietnam were the most likely foreign countries of origin for forced labor. Most labor migrants entered the UK legally. Many migrants used informal brokers to plan their journey and find work and accommodation in the UK, enabling the brokers to exploit the migrants through high fees and to channel them into forced labor situations. Many with limited English were vulnerable and trapped in poverty through a combination of debts, flexible employment, and constrained opportunities. Migrants were forced to share rooms with strangers in overcrowded houses, and often the work was just sufficient to cover rent and other subsistence charges. Forced labor was the most common form of exploitation reported in the UK, followed by sexual exploitation. Migrant workers were subject to forced labor in agriculture (especially in marijuana cultivation), construction, food processing, service industries (especially nail salons), and on fishing boats. Women employed as domestic workers were particularly vulnerable to forced labor.


No cases of child labor were reported in overseas British territories, but gaps in the law made children vulnerable.

Freedom House Country Report

2020 Edition

[accessed 10 May 2020]


The 2015 Modern Slavery Act increased punishments for human traffickers and provides greater protections for victims. However, its implementation has been weak. This became most apparent in late October 2019, when 39 Vietnamese migrants were found dead in a trailer in Essex. In December, authorities charged two defendants with human trafficking offenses over the incident. Children and migrant workers are among those most vulnerable to forced labor and sex trafficking.

"Vulnerability' To Human Trafficking: A Study Of Viet Nam, Albania, Nigeria And The UK

Patricia Hynes, Report of Shared Learning Event held in Tirana, Albania: 24-26 October 2017

[Long URL]

[accessed 13 February 2022]

This report describes the first stages of an ethically-led, two-year research study into understanding the causes, dynamics and ‘vulnerabilities’ to and resilience against human trafficking in three source countries– Albania, Viet Nam and Nigeria – plus the support needs of people from these countries who have experienced trafficking when identified as potential ‘victims’ of trafficking in the UK.

Brides for sale: European women lured for sham marriages

Sylvia Hui And Karel Janicek, Associated Press AP, 25 May 2015

[accessed 11 February 2016]

[accessed 27 February 2018]

Most brides get paid-for trips to Britain, Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands, and some don't fully realize what they've gotten themselves into until they arrive. Women have been held captive until their marriage papers are signed, abused by their "husband" and his friends, used for sex and drug trafficking or even made to marry more than once, according to European authorities and charities.

"Depending on the case, a woman can be sold for thousands of euros," said Angelika Molnar, an anti-trafficking specialist at Europol. "I can tell you it is lucrative."

"Nightclub Girls Helped Me Escape Captivity"

The Star, Sheffield, 23 February 2005

[accessed 4 January 2011]

The youngster, from Lithuania, says she was sold to a string of Albanian men who kept her prisoner in their homes, repeatedly raped her and forced her to work in brothels.  The girl, who was allegedly tricked into traveling to the UK after being told she would work in a restaurant.

3/5 smuggled to UK for sex, servitude

Press TV, Iran, Aug 26, 2012

[accessed 27 August 2012]

[accessed 17 February 2019]

The United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC) said in its first official assessment of human smuggling that 31 percent of the victims were targeted by sex gangs, 22 percent for Labour exploitation and 11 percent for domestic servitude.

The study was based on data from police forces, the Gangmasters Licensing Authority and the UK Border Agency, among others, also showed 17 percent of those smuggled into Britain were targeted for criminal exploitation, five percent for multiple exploitation and one percent for organ harvesting.   The report also found that 99 British citizens were also trafficked inside the country in 2011 among them 52 for sexual exploitation with more than 80 percent of them female children.   According to UKHTC, most victims of smuggling into Britain have been from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Poland and Nigeria.

Sex trafficking in the UK: one woman's horrific story of kidnap, rape, beatings and prostitution

Mark Townsend, The Observer, 5 February 2011

[accessed 20 June 2017]

As far as her friends and family were concerned, Marinela vanished. One moment she was on the way home from school in the provincial town of Alexandria, two hours drive from Bucharest, then she was gone. Later they learnt that, just after 5pm one afternoon in mid-March 2008, as she was settling down to her homework in the flat she shared with a female friend, there was a knock on the door. Outside stood two men. One, Cornel, had a reputation for prostituting local girls. The other she had never met. He was called Marius Nejloveanu.

They invited her to a barbecue. "I said no because I had homework," said Marinela. "When Cornel heard that he just banged my head on the wardrobe and said, 'Put your coat on.'

Weeks into her ordeal, Marinela relented. Nejloveanu presented her with a lurid set of garish underwear and she was taken to a nearby brothel masquerading as a sauna. She could not speak a word of English. When the first "client" booked her she wanted to say "no" but could not. She wanted to explain her predicament, tell the man that she was trafficked. Instead she cried, hoping that the man would take pity on her. He did not. None of them did.

Human trafficking gang sentenced to six years

NDS UK, 7thSpace Interactive, 2010-10-11

[accessed 19 December 2010]

The UK arm of the gang, based in the Burngreave area of Sheffield, had sought to lure genuine Polish workers to the UK on the promise of paid work and a better life. In reality the workers would find themselves being forced to work up to 12 hours a day and then housed in a derelict property at night, unable to leave.

The scam worked by recruiting the workers via newspapers and the internet in Poland, and then asking them to pay money up front for accommodation and the necessary documentation they´d need to work in the UK - on average between £300-£500 each. On arrival they´d be picked up from the airport and then taken to the Halcar Tavern, Carwood Grove in Sheffield, where they had to share cramped and squalid conditions. The gang would then arrange for them to be taken to and from work but wouldn´t pay them at the end of the week. After a couple of weeks of unpaid work, the gang would then turn up with baseball bats and forcefully evict the victims under the threat of physical assault..

TraFFicking oF Women and Children in Wales 2010

Jackie Jones, Center for Legal Research, Bristol Law School, November 2010

[Long URL]

[accessed 17 February 2022]

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY - There are gaps in knowledge over issues of identification of victims of trafficking and responses once identified as well as specialist provisions of services, despite the recent creation of a refuge for trafficked women in Wales. Gender-specific and child-friendly policy initiatives are at the heart of effective enforcement and protection strategies. These need to be tailored to the particular needs of local communities in Wales. Strategies that reflect the different landscapes– rural, urban, language, cultural – all require co-ordination in a national (Welsh) centre for trafficking. From that multi-agency point, training, awareness-raising, advocacy and many other services can be provided and tailored for the needs of the people in Wales. My recommendations are the following ...

Worthing care home couple's trial for human trafficking

Worthing Herald, 21 May 2009

[accessed 2 January 2011]

David Scutt, prosecuting, said the couple were part of an international trafficking network which lured poor Mauritian workers to the country with the promise of wages four times what they could earn at home.

CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW - He said a recruitment agency on Mauritius provided cover letters allowing the workers to enter the country as visitors – but, on arrival, they were put to work on 13-hour shifts caring for elderly people suffering from dementia, and paid £450 a month – the sum they had been told would be their weekly wage.

Migrants' work stocked supermarkets

Martin Shankleman, BBC employment correspondent, BBC News, 19 November 2008

[accessed 2 January 2011]

COORDINATED APPROACH - It was alleged the workers, who had been recruited in eastern Europe, were trapped by the gang who placed them in squalid accommodation and forced them to work for up to 16 hours a day picking vegetables.  The UK Border Agency Regional Director, Simon Excell, branded the gang's alleged actions a "modern form of slavery".  "Human trafficking of any kind, whether for sexual or labour exploitation, is an appalling crime where people are treated as commodities and traded for profit," said Mr Excell.

'Sex slavery' gang jailed in child prostitution case

Rachel Williams and agencies,, 4 November 2008

[accessed 2 January 2011]

A gang of human traffickers, brothel keepers and pimps received substantial jail terms yesterday over the ordeal of a teenage virgin tricked into travelling to the UK for a life of sexual "slavery".

Their Slovakian victim had cried in the dock as she described spending nearly a year-and-a-half working as a prostitute after being lured to Britain at the age of 16 with the promise of a job in a pub. She told of being sold on from owner to owner, raped by one who was never identified, beaten and threatened. - htcp

Scores rescued from trafficking

BBC News, 2 July 2008

[accessed 2 January 2011]

Police say 167 victims, including 12 children, have been rescued in a major crackdown on human trafficking.

DESPICABLE CRIME - The Home Office said Operation Pentameter Two was the most successful effort of its kind.  The majority of victims rescued originated from China, south-east Asia and Eastern Europe, 13 were children, the youngest aged 14.

Women captured by human traffickers can be forced to have sex with up to 40 men a day by violent pimps, police said.

VICTIMS REMOVED - But Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker said about half of the victims had refused to cooperate with the authorities.

The problem was worse among child victims who were told by those exploiting them that it was not in their best interests to co-operate.

Man Jailed For 'Horrific' Trafficking Offences

4RFV, UK National News, 30 June 2008

[accessed 2 January 2011]

[accessed 17 February 2019]

Victims were brought into the UK from Hungary, following promises of a better life, but were instead forced into prostitution against their will.  Detective Constable Martin Arnfield from Greater Manchester Police's Sexual Crime Unit said: "The fear this man imposed upon his victims was so intense it took a huge amount of courage for them to seek help.  "One victim thought she was simply coming to Manchester for a holiday but she had her trust completely betrayed by someone she thought was a friend and forced into a horrific and abusive situation.

Moldovan sex slaves released in U.K. human trafficking raids, Apr 22, 2008

[accessed 2 January 2011]

[accessed 27 February 2018]

A group of girls from Moldova have been released by British police after raids against human trafficking rings. They had been smuggled from Europe's poorest country and forced into sex slavery. Trafficking gangs operate with government involvement in Moldova.

EUROPE'S LARGEST SEX-TRAFFICKER - Human trafficking networks and sex slavery gangs bring young women to the United Kingdom where they are “debt-bonded” and ordered to pay debts of up to £25,000 for travel and board. In order to pay off their "debt", the victims are sold between traffickers and forced into prostitution. Many commit suicide and of the survivors, a large number get infected with AIDS before they turn 20.

Human trafficking rife in borough, says report

Hannah Crown, Enfield Independent, 9 April 2008

[accessed 2 January 2011]

Human trafficking is rife in Enfield and involves children, sexual exploitation and ritual abuse, a major new report has found.

It reveals a shocking range of offences including sexual exploitation, ritual abuse, forced labour, domestic servitude, forced marriages, and benefit fraud.  The study also says there is a lack of hard evidence on the issue and said the borough's counter-trafficking response was "greatly impeded" by a lack of clear policy and a "pervasive attitude that it was someone else's problem".

Fighting the evil new slave trade

Michael Kelly, Sunday Sun, 2 March 2008

[accessed 20 June 2013]

Most of the women have been tricked into coming into the UK by the promise of a job, such as catering or housekeeping, or legitimate training.  They pass through the airport or port, looking quite happy, and so are not easily identified or rescued at that stage by the authorities.  Once in the country, they are typically raped by their new pimps, their passports are taken, and they’re forced into prostitution.  They are treated as commodities to be used to earn their “owners” serious amounts of illicit cash

The other side of trafficking is worker exploitation.  All kinds of people, including children, are smuggled illegally into the UK to work for negligible wages in bad conditions, particularly in agriculture and catering, and also social care.  Gang masters, who run indirect labour organisations, have to be licensed. So far, 42 licences have been revoked and 36 new applications refused where there has been evidence of bad treatment of workers.  It is essential that Europe works together on this issue.  The Council of Europe’s convention of Human Trafficking says the trade is a violation of human rights and an offence to the dignity and integrity of the human being.  The Government agrees and will ratify the convention by the end of 2008.  Today, human trafficking is the modern slavery . . . be it for prostitution or for illegal labour.

The Child Slaves - Criminals turn from drugs to trafficking

Kate Smith, Herald Scotland, 16 Feb 2008

[accessed 3 January 2011]

Child-trafficking in Scotland is set to rise dramatically as organised crime gangs turn from drugs to the more lucrative illegal movement of children into the UK. Trafficked children are being sold into a life of sexual exploitation, domestic slavery, Fagin-style petty-theft gangs or working in cannabis factories, where they are held against their will, forced to work and subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment.

Despite the UK government investing heavily in counter measures, there are very few convictions for child-trafficking in the UK. Also there aren't any figures, so no-one actually knows the scale of child-trafficking, although the children's charities do know that it is increasing.'' In 2007, the UK government announced that 330 child victims of trafficking had been identified over an 18-month period. Of these 183 went missing from social services care. Many experts believe that the numbers of trafficked children in the UK could now be in the thousands.

The Met's Human Trafficking Team (HTT) has had its first human trafficking sentencing

LAWFUEL, Legal Newswire, 16 February 2008

[accessed 15 August 2014]

[accessed 11 October 2016]

In interview the victim, at the time 31 years old, told police that she knew both Saisho YANKOV (male) and Asie ISUFOVA (female) from Bulgaria and they told her they were planning on coming to England and would pay for her travel arrangements so that she could come too. They told her she could pay them back when she was working in the UK.

On the fifth day they told her the only work they had been able to find was prostitution. She told them she didn't want to do this but YANKOV then made threats against her family back in Bulgaria, telling her he was part of the Bulgarian mafia and would break all their legs if she didn't work as a prostitute for two years to pay off the £2,000 she owed for the travel.

Children for sale: UK's new slave trade

David Harrison, The Telegraph, 27 Jan 2008

[accessed 3 January 2011]

The illicit trade in children - sold by their parents, some while still babies, to criminal gangs and people traffickers - has been uncovered by a Sunday Telegraph investigation.  An undercover reporter was offered several children for sale by their parents in Nigeria: two boys aged three and five for £5,000, or £2,500 for one, and a 10-month-old baby for £2,000. Teenage girls - including some still pregnant - were willing to sell their babies for less than £1,000.  One international trafficker, tracked down in Lagos, claimed to be buying up to 500 children a year.

Impoverished African parents are being lured by the traffickers' promises of "a better life" for their children, thousands of miles away in cities including London, Birmingham and Manchester.  But, once brought to Britain, the children are used as a fraudulent means to obtain illicit housing and other welfare benefits, totalling tens of thousands of pounds each a year.  From the age of seven, rather than being sent to school, they are exploited as domestic slaves, forced to work for up to 18 hours a day, cleaning, cooking and looking after other younger children, or put to work in restaurants and shops.  Some of the children are also subjected to physical and sexual abuse, while others even find themselves accused of being witches and become victims of exorcism rites in "traditional" African churches in Britain.

Sex Slaves Bought For £7000 Freed In Police Raid

Tom Hamilton, Daily Record, Dec 27 2007

[accessed 3 January 2011]

Three women held as sex slaves in Scotland were bought for just £7000 - and forced to have sex with up to 20 men a day.  Human traffickers charged up to £60-a-time for sex with the victims, two Slovakians and a Lithuanian.  The women have now been freed thanks to a massive police operation.  They were among 17 sex slaves rescued during a series of raids across Scotland in the last few months.  Last night, one senior officer said the slaves were being treated like "used cars"

The Glasgow sex industry alone is worth an estimated s7million a year, earned by women forced to work in saunas, in private flats and as escorts.  Many are regularly sold and re-sold between organised criminals working in all of the UK's major cities.  Last year, the original Operation Pentameter resulted in 515 raids and 84 suspected victims of human trafficking being identified.  A 14-year-old girl in Dumfries was the youngest person rescued.  Many of the victims are raped and beaten by their barbaric "owners" before they are put to work.

Tales of sex and sadness from inside Britain's oldest profession

Amelia Hill, The Observer, 23 December 2007

[accessed 3 January 2011]

'I'D BEEN DREAMING OF A FUTURE AS A WIFE AND A MOTHER' - ALMA, 26 - Alma (not her real name) fell in love with a man she met in Poland seven months ago. He said he wanted to introduce her to his family. Under this pretence, he ended up kidnapping her. He used a false passport to bring her to Manchester and force her to work in a brothel.

'I had been working as a waitress, dreaming of a future as a wife and mother,' Alma says. 'This man shared my Muslim religion. I trusted him. When he locked me in his house, took away all my money and possessions, I was terrified. But when he forced me into a car and had a friend drive me to a foreign country where I didn't speak the language or know anyone, I was beside myself . My family went to the police but after a week I knew they wouldn't take me back because, according to our religion, I was ruined.

'He beat me and made me live with another girl who spied on me. She wouldn't leave me for a second and reported to this man if I did anything that looked like trying to escape. He forced me to work in the brothel, but the clients complained because I just cried all the time. The manager asked me what was wrong. I didn't have the language to express myself, but eventually I managed to explain. I don't think she felt sorry for me, but she saw that I wasn't going to earn her brothel any money because I would never willingly work. She helped me to escape and I went to the police. This has damaged my life in all directions. I have no dreams now and no hopes. I have nothing.'

Helping children turn life around

Paul McMillan, Evening Chronicle, Dec 10 2007

[accessed 3 January 2011]

While runaways and vulnerable children are not new, the spectre of people trafficking has reared its head on Tyneside in recent years.

In March this year a report by ECPAT – End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of Children – revealed 13 youngsters, including Chinese and Somalians, had flown into Newcastle Airport and disappeared. Somali girls are being trafficked into Newcastle for forced marriages. Seven girls, all under 16, disappeared from Newcastle City Council’s social services’ care.

Three Chinese girls – Weng Mei Fang, 16, Lin Xiu Ming, 17, and He Yun Jin, 17 – disappeared from Elswick Lodge hostel in Park Close, Elswick, Newcastle, within days of arriving at the city’s airport without passports. Kim Sang Tong, 29, of London, who was involved in their trafficking, was jailed for four years in May last year – but the girls have never been found.

Police uncover human trafficking misery

Michael Howie, Home Affairs Correspondent, The Scotsman, 05 December 2007

[accessed 3 January 2011]

A Romanian woman who was raped and forced to work as a prostitute is among 20 victims of human trafficking identified by police in the central belt in the past eight weeks.

Most of the women are from the Far East - mainly Thailand and Malaysia - with many thought to have travelled to Britain to pay off a family debt, ending up in Edinburgh's sex industry after becoming "debt-bonded" to a relative living in the UK.  In one case, a Romanian woman who arrived in London on the promise of work found herself repeatedly raped by her traffickers, who seized her passport. She was found working in a brothel in Edinburgh. Four raids were carried out on brothels operating out of flats in the city, leading to three arrests.

A barbaric trade in human misery right on our doorsteps

Chris Bond, Yorkshire Post, 15 November 2007

[accessed 3 January 2011]

"One of the first victims we helped in the UK was a 15 year-old Lithuanian girl who found herself in Sheffield where she managed to escape her trafficker and turned up at a police station."  Her case shows how unsuspecting young victims are lured from their homes into a nightmare world of brutality and rape.

"She was phoned up by someone and asked if she would like to sell ice cream for the summer in London and was told she would earn about £300."  The traffickers signed a consent form and her parents, believing it was a good opportunity, approved the trip.  "She was flown to Gatwick and sold in a coffee shop from one trafficker to another for £3,000, her passport was taken off her and sold for £4,000.  "Later the same night, she was taken to a flat and brutalised and raped, and from that moment on she was forced to act as a prostitute."

British Police Crack Down on Human Trafficking

Mandy Clark, Voice of America VOA News, London, 13 November 2007

[accessed 3 January 2011]

Joanne says she was freed after 11 months because her health began to fail and she was no longer of use to her trafficker. She says he let her go, but gave her devastating news. "He said, 'I have HIV and I'm pretty sure I have infected you.' I went to a clinic and found out I was HIV positive which leads to AIDS and I totally lost my mind."

Sold into slavery

The Northern Echo, 17th October 2007

[accessed 3 January 2011]

At the back is a young Chinese woman, the wife of the owner who was sold to him for £10,000. She works as his slave in sweatshop conditions and is regularly beaten. It is one of these beatings which will eventually lead to her death.  "We found she was suffering from trench foot and she had been kept in a box six feet by six feet," recalls Grahame Maxwell, Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police and programme director for the UK Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC) in Sheffield.  "I found that very shocking. I wondered how many times members of the public had been in for a takeaway, even police officers, without realising what was taking place. And it didn't happen in the middle of a bustling city. It was on the outskirts of Rotherham. If it can happen there, it can happen anywhere."

Derry charity worker welcomes team to tackle human trafficking

The Derry Journal, 09 October 2007

[accessed 3 January 2011]

"The numbers are quite significant and it is growing. This place is ripe for it at the minute because it is very easy for people to be in the shadows. Between the last two to four months people have been coming to us that have been abandoned - we try to ensure that they are safe and secure. We have to identify where they come from - a lot don't want to get into trouble. They have left their families behind in often small villages and don't want to give too much information about the traffickers because they are worried about what will happen to their families."  The charity worker said once the problem is exposed they easily disappear.  "That is the worrying thing - often we don't know where they go. They are cases for concern because of the duplication of identification, the language difficulty and the fear factor."

Police unite to tackle human trafficking [video]

STV video

[accessed 3 January 2011]

Anna was promised a better life far from her home in Albania - but then forced into having sex with up to 30 strangers each and everyday.  She said: "You have to work even if you're sick they don't care - you just have to make the money for them because they need cars then need nice houses, nice clothes."

National police campaign to target sex trafficking

Matthew Weaver and agencies, The Guardian, 3 October 2007

[accessed 3 January 2011]

The government estimates that up to 4,000 women and girls are forced into prostitution after being trafficked from abroad.  Last year Pentameter rescued 88 women and girls, including some as young as 14, who had been forced into the sex industry.

Crime gangs 'expand sex slavery into shires'

Sean O’Neill, Crime Editor, The Times, September 28, 2007

[accessed 20 June 2013]

Immigration from Eastern Europe has brought a supply of women deceived into thinking good jobs await them. Instead they are sold to vice gangs for £500 and forced into prostitution. An investigation by The Times has found that one rural force has identified 80 brothels this year.

What is less expected is that the brothel where she was kept as a sex slave is not in London, Birmingham or one of the metropolitan centres. This brothel was in the cathedral city of Peterborough and is one of 80 that have been raided by Cambridgeshire police this year.  Senior officers have been staggered by the discovery of off-street brothels – “sex prisons” in the words of one detective – in towns such as Wisbech, March, Huntingdon and Cambridge. They believe there are many more operating across the county.  Cambridgeshire is not alone. Around the country police forces are realising that human trafficking, a hugely profitable business run by organised criminal gangs, is no longer a big city problem.

Port is prime target for child traffickers

Ceri Rees, Daily Echo, 27th September 2007

[accessed 3 January 2011]

Criminal gangs are targeting vulnerable ports, such as Poole, to traffic children they can exploit for labour and illegal activity into the UK.  Children's rights organisation Ecpat (End Child Prostitution and Trafficking) says trafficking into the country is on the increase.  And ports like Poole have become soft targets due to their relative isolation and perceived lack of awareness of the problem.

Trafficked Children Should Remain: UNICEF

J. P. Anderson, Citizens Free Press, 2007

[accessed 20 June 2013]

Children trafficked into Britain to work as sex slaves or in other types of forced labour should be allowed to stay in the country to recover from their ordeals, a report has said.

A system of renewable residence permits should be introduced for youngsters rescued from such abuse, said the study by UNICEF and children’s rights organisation ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes).

The report said: "A renewable residence permit would secure a legal status for children who had been trafficked and would acknowledge the extent of the human rights abuse and provide the necessary environment in which a child could begin to make a physical and mental recovery.

Children trafficked from Asia to UK to work in cannabis factories

Nina Lakhani, The Independent, 23 September 2007

[accessed 11 February 2016]

Hundreds of young children illegally trafficked into the UK are the new victims of Britain's booming cannabis trade. Figures obtained by The Independent on Sunday reveal that, as organised criminals push cannabis production to record levels, at least one child a week is being found by police raiding cannabis factories.  Experts warn that children as young as 13 are been smuggled from south-east Asia to work as "slaves" for gangs in dangerous conditions, being kept captive in towns and suburbs across the UK. They believe there has been a five-fold increase in the trade in the past 12 months.

Gangs can reap up to £300,000 profit a year from a three-bedroom house converted into a cannabis factory. Children are brought in by gangs to tend the plants. Many have been found unable to escape through doors or windows sealed and wired to give off dangerous electric shocks. Others fear reprisals against relatives if they try to escape. Police are currently raiding up to three houses a day where children are being discovered

Police chiefs told to declare war on organised people trafficking

Sean O’Neill, The Times, September 20, 2007

[accessed 15 August 2014]

— More than 10,000 women from Eastern Europe, Africa and the Far East have been sold to gangs at auction for an average of £2,500 and forced into sex slavery in British brothels;

— Groups of Romanian children are being smuggled into the country and forced to earn their keep as pickpockets in Central London;

— Unknown numbers of men and women, many from Asia, are enslaved as bonded labour to pay off debts of up to £10,000 to the criminal syndicates that smuggled them into Britain; Ms Spence, who has produced a detailed report on the impact of demo-graphic change on policing in her county, said that the Government was out of touch with what was happening.

Sex workers helping with human trafficking

Source: Town Crier - Northants, Northampton, UK

[accessed 3 January 2011]

Sex workers have given police vital information to help with a crackdown on the human trafficking trade in Cambridgeshire.  The established sex workers have told police working on Operation Radium that they want to help young girls being held prisoners as sex slaves by criminal gangs working in the county.

'Evil and disgusting' trade in sex slaves

The Evening Telegraph, 06th August 2007

[accessed 3 January 2011]

Sickened police officers visited 36 suspected city brothels in a matter of weeks in search of human sex slaves.  Their campaign – Operation Radium – was launched in May in a bid to identify 100 of the establishments in Cambridgeshire and find out if they were selling the services of kidnapped foreign women.  In the space of just six months, a total of seven women – five in Peterborough – who had been horrifically abused, have been discovered.  Many had been battered and bruised. Some had been forced to "service" up to 60 clients a day. Some had been gang raped.

Human trafficking: Case studies

Peterborough Evening Telegraph, August 6, 2007

[accessed 4 September 2012]

Victim A managed to escape from a horrific cycle of abuse which involved being beaten and raped up to 25 times a day after she climbed through the window of a Peterborough brothel while another girl was asleep.  The 30 year old Czech mother- of-two who was forced into prostitution following her arrival in the UK in August 2006.  She had been held at locations in Gloucester, London and Peterborough, and was persuaded to travel to Britain by a man who promised a lucrative job as a waitress and a better lifestyle.  Victim A entered the UK via a regional airport at which time she was taken to a Gloucester brothel, where her ID documents were taken away.  She was subjected to beatings and was forced to work as a prostitute, but did not receive any money for this work.

Two arrested for human trafficking

Edward Chadwick, The Bolton News, 31st July 2007

[accessed 3 January 2011]

A Hungarian man and his girlfriend have been arrested after a teenage girl they forced to work as a prostitute was rescued from a Bolton house.  The terrified victim was lured from Hungary with the promise of a week-long holiday earlier this month. But she was kept against her will and taken to a house on several occasions where she was forced to have sex with men.

A police source said: "This young woman was duped in to coming to the country and has been kept against her will.

F1 fuels human trafficking, activists say

The Gazette (Montreal),  June 10, 2007

[accessed 3 January 2011]

[accessed 11 October 2016]

Last year, Canada was singled out in an international study for failing to meet its obligations for the protection of victims of human trafficking. The 40-page study, titled Falling Short of the Mark: An International Study on the Treatment of Human Trafficking Victims, concluded that out of the countries evaluated - Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Britain and the United States - only Canada and Britain failed to meet their obligations to protect victims under the United Nations Trafficking Protocol and international best practices.

Falling Short of the Mark: An International Study on the Treatment of Human Trafficking Victims [PDF]

The Future Group, March 2006

[accessed 6 February 2011]

[accessed 4 February 2019]

UNITED KINGDOM - The United Kingdom has failed to meet the international standards set in the Trafficking Protocol related to the protection of victims of human trafficking, and is currently reviewing its policy in this area in light of its recent ratification of the Trafficking Protocol. It is also considering becoming a signatory to the European Trafficking Convention. Trafficking victims are dealt with on a case-by-case basis and routinely deported. Only minimal support has been provided to victims in recent years, and only general laws exist for their protection during investigations.

RESIDENCE - The United Kingdom presently deals with all human trafficking victims on a case-by-case basis. Those who claim to be trafficked may seek to remain in the U.K., but there is no automatic right or clear-cut procedure to obtain short term residence if a victim assists in a prosecution or otherwise.

Authorities 'failing to stop child trafficking'

Gemma Murray, News Letter, Belfast, 25 May 2007

[accessed 26 August 2011]

A lack of police and immigration officers is allowing the trafficking of children into Northern Ireland, a top human rights academic said last night.  Dr Tomoya Obokata, assistant director of the Human Rights Centre at Queen's University in Belfast, said it was impossible to say how many youngsters were involved because the true extent was masked by "private fostering".  Dr Obokata said people-trafficking into the Province was "becoming a big problem" with recently published reports indicating that this involved children.  "But this can be hard to prove because children arrive into the UK to be privately fostered," he said.  "The law can be lapse with regards to this and it is hard to detect as these children are quite hidden.  "How do you prove they are being trafficked when they are met at airports by so-called aunts and uncles.  "There is also a lack of resources on the part of PSNI and immigration."

Rape revealed human trafficking

BBC News, 19 April 2007

[accessed 3 January 2011]

SOLD SEVERAL TIMES - Mr Steer said that during her time in the UK the woman, who suffers from epilepsy, was sold several times and operated in the Manchester area, before she was finally trafficked to the restaurant.

When she arrived in the UK, the woman was accompanied by Nikol Franekova, 29, and was taken to an address in Bayswater Row, Leeds, where she lived with Ladislav Kaco Snr, 39.  JS stayed there several weeks before she was allegedly sold to David Horvath, 29, and Ivetta Grundzova, 32.

Police target global sex trafficking gangs

Stefano Ambrogi and John Sinnott, Reuters, London, 7 March 2007

[accessed 18 February 2013]

Police launched a special unit to target the growing menace of human trafficking in the capital on Wednesday, vowing to smash foreign criminal gangs that sell their victims into the sex trade or use them as forced labour.

Many young women smuggled illegally into the UK end up working as prostitutes while other migrants are forced to work for little or no pay.

Some victims, who arrive penniless and unable to speak English, have been found to be as young as 14.

Citing an extreme case, police said that hours after being sold at the airport a young woman was raped by her new owners and then held in appalling conditions at different locations where she was repeatedly gang-raped.

"They (the victims) have a really torrid time of it: they are duped and coerced into coming to the UK with promises of a better life, a good job or marriage," Metropolitan Police Commander Sue Wilkinson told reporters.

"But instead, they find that they've placed themselves into the hands of these ruthless networks ... either in a situation of forced labour or sex trade and have no idea how to get help."

Britain's shame over 21st century slavery

Paul Whitehouse, Yorkshire Post, Yorkshire, 26 February 2007

[accessed 3 January 2011]

Britain is a key staging point in a flourishing international slave trade that has seen up to 14,000 women and children brought here for the sex industry and vast numbers enslaved in forced- labour rackets.

A report by the York-based Joseph Rowntree Foundation today reveals modern-day slavery as a high-profit international trade and paints a damning picture of the way the Government has dealt with the issue, which has escalated over the past decade.

Sex traffic: Danielle was 15 when she was sold into slavery in the UK

Sophie Goodchild and Kurt Barling, The Independent, 25 February 2007

[accessed 15 August 2014]

Danielle was excited at the prospect of leaving her home in Lithuania for a summer job in Britain at the age of 15. The work had been arranged through a friend who was unable to join Danielle until later and so put her in touch with a man who would take her to London.

Danielle suspected nothing until the stranger took her passport once they passed through customs and left her with two Albanians and a Lithuanian woman. It turned out that she had been sold for £3,500. The "holiday job" was working in a brothel in Birmingham.

Stories of human trafficking

The Guardian,,2013927,00.html

[accessed 3 January 2011]

[roll mouse over images to reveal the story behind each image]

Amnesty International, Anti-Slavery International, London-based feminist charity Eaves and Unicef UK have partnered with Panos Pictures to produce a thought-provoking exhibition of photographs highlighting the lives and landscapes of people trafficked into the UK.

Here is a selection of photographs from the exhibition and the stories behind the images.

Sex trade moves its modern-day slaves into the suburbs

David Harrison, The Telegraph, 18 Feb 2007

[accessed 3 January 2011]

Graeme Maxwell, Yorkshire police's deputy chief constable and programme director for the UK Human Trafficking Centre, said: "The traffickers and pimps are taking the girls to rented flats and houses in areas all over the UK where there is a transient population and neighbours don't really notice when people move in and out."

Latest anti-human trafficking tactics shared at seminar

Elysa Batista, Naples Daily News, January 26, 2007

[accessed 11 February 2016]

In Britain, a raid to break up a human trafficking ring results in a number of victims freed, but none of the law enforcement officers speaks the victims' language.  However, agents pull out their secret weapon — a sheet with pictures of various international flags and an iPod.  When a victim identifies his country of origin, officers quickly locate the corresponding MP3 file and the individual gets to hear in his native tongue a full explanation of his rights as a victim of human trafficking.

Tyneside centre of slave-girls scam

Paul McMillan, The Evening Chronicle, Jan 15 2007

[accessed 20 June 2013]

Among its findings, under-age forced marriages of Somali girls were confined to Newcastle but the report also states regional findings are not conclusive and are only based on what authorities in the area have uncovered.  Children forced into domestic service or to work in cannabis factories was also uncovered in other areas.

Trafficking victims to get housing and medical aid

Patrick Wintour, political editor, The Guardian, 13 January 2007

[accessed 3 January 2011]

Victims of human trafficking in Britain are to be given guaranteed state help with housing and medical advice, as well as a minimum one month reprieve from deportation, the home secretary, John Reid, has decided. He is understood to have written to cabinet colleagues this week seeking the green light to sign the European convention on human trafficking 2005, a move which will delight human rights campaigners.

As many as 4,000 victims of trafficking - mainly young women - were involved in enforced prostitution in Britain in 2003, according to Home Office estimates.

Tories call for action on human trafficking

Elsa McLaren and agencies, Britain Times Online, January 03, 2007

[accessed 15 August 2014]

The Conservatives argue that removal centres, like the one in Harmondsworth, West Drayton, West London, which saw rioting in November, is the wrong place to house victims, many of whom have been forced into prostitution under the hands of criminal gangs.

The party cited the Poppy Project as better practice. Under that scheme victims of trafficking for prostitution are placed in a 25-bedroom safe house and given a 28-day period of reflection. If they decide to co-operate with a prosecution, they can stay for up to 12 weeks before being deported.

Bishop of Liverpool Calls on Government to Ratify Human Trafficking Convention

Maria Mackay, Christian Today, December 21, 2006

[accessed 3 January 2011]

The Bishop of Liverpool has called on the government to ratify the 2005 Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, which includes measures to protect and support victims of trafficking.

And Europe and the UK have not escaped the scourge of slave labour and human trafficking.  In Tuesday’s Guardian, Madeleine Bunting reported that there an estimated half a million irregular migrants forced into cheap labour in Britain, servicing the UK economy.

MPs urge immediate action on human trafficking, October 18, 2006 -- Adapted from: "Sex trafficking 'must be tackled'" BBC News. 13 October 2006

[accessed 3 January 2011]

[accessed 27 February 2018]

"We should recognise women trafficked for prostitution through deception, fear and violence as victims of this serious crime, and not immigration offenders or criminals themselves.

"Of even greater concern is the lack of knowledge we have of the extent of the trafficking of young children for domestic servitude or, even worse, labour in the drugs trade."

Europe's first human trafficking centre opens

South African Press Association SAPA & Agence France-Presse AFP, London, October 3 2006

[accessed 3 January 2011]

"Some victims do not even realise they are being trafficked until they arrive and then find the job they were being promised as a waitress turns out to be enforced servitude as a prostitute, including being beaten and raped.

"Today in London I am told that trafficked women can be bought and sold for as little as £3 000. They often live in terror, believing that if they try to escape their pimps will kill them," he said.

Human trafficking problems in Scotland

United Press International UPI, Edinburgh, 24 September 2006

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 12 September 2011]

McCormack, the head of the organized immigration crime team, said a new trend is emerging, with children from Slovakia and other countries being sold in Scotland.

Caught in traffic

Kate Foster with additional reporting by Arthur MacMillan, Scotland On Sunday, 24 September 2006

[accessed 3 January 2011]

The situation is chilling - police and council officials openly admit they are not yet in a position to be sure of the scale of the problem in Scotland - but they have seen enough to know that foreign girls as young as 12 are being prostituted north of the Border. They warn that Glasgow could soon have a human trafficking problem to rival that of London and Birmingham.

The first signs of Scotland's trafficking problem emerged earlier this year when a 14-year-old African girl in Dumfries was one of six young females rescued from brothels as part of Operation Pentameter, a nationwide crackdown. The African teenager is thought to have been thrown out of the brothel and left homeless.

What sickens those trying to tackle the problem most is the age of the girls involved. Teenagers under the age of 16 are, police are now certain, being held captive in private flats, and their pimps are seeking punters from the local population. This is something which sickens those trying to tackle the problem.

Human trafficking: the dark side of the EU dream

Ben Nimmo, Deutsche Presse Agentur, Riga, September 22, 2006

[accessed 3 January 2011]

The expansion of the European Union in Central and Eastern Europe has brought an unexpected surge in the number of Eastern EU citizens sold into slavery in the West. "There was a definite jump (after EU expansion). Lithuanians are now second only to Thais in the number of victims of exploitation in Britain," said Audra Sipaviciene, head of the International Organization for Migration's Vilnius office.

The route to hell

Louisa Waugh, The Scotsman, 22 August 2006

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 12 September 2011]

The majority of sex workers in Britain are now migrant women, although nobody knows how many have been trafficked. The Home Office recently described the British sex industry as "saturated". Traffickers often use genuine EU passports - which circulate for sale around Europe - and cheap airlines to fly women to destinations including the UK. The majority of women are flown into London then dispersed across the country, but sometimes they are flown directly to other cities, such as Glasgow.

Charities criticise government indifference to child trafficking

Harvey Thompson, World Socialist Web Site WSWS, 26 July 2006

[accessed 3 January 2011]

Trafficked children are transported from all over Africa, Asia and eastern Europe by ruthless and highly organised gangs. Many of them are taken with the consent of their parents, who pay up to £3,000, believing the traffickers’ claims that their children are going to a better life and will be able to send money home.

The victims are often smuggled into Britain or brought in on false passports by adults posing as relatives. Most are put to work immediately, and many live in appalling conditions—often subjected to physical and sexual abuse.

Children from China, Vietnam and Malaysia have been found in sweatshops, restaurants and suburban cannabis factories. African children are often put into domestic servitude, working long hours for little or no reward.

Eastern European children tend to be used to beg and steal. Many more children are expected to be used to these ends next year when Romania and Bulgaria are expected to join the European Union.

Child Trafficking in the U.K.

Ambrose Musiyiwa (amusiyiwa), OhmyNews, 2006-07-25

[accessed 3 May 2012]

She was a teenage orphan living on the streets of Nairobi when a man approached her and promised her work in the United Kingdom. He told her she would be working as a house girl.

True to his word, her "savior" brought her into the U.K. -- but instead of placing her with a family the man took her to a brothel, where she was systematically raped, beaten, and forced to work as a prostitute.

Three months later, when the 16-year-old Kenyan girl became pregnant, she was forced to continue sleeping with a succession of men until she was almost due to give birth. The heavily pregnant teenager was then removed from the brothel, driven out of the town where she had been held, and dumped many miles away on the streets of Sheffield.

Hundreds of Child Slaves Trafficked into UK

Martin Croucher, Epoch Times London Staff, Jun 06, 2006

[accessed 3 January 2011]

Hundreds of children as young as six years old are being trafficked into Britain to work in sweat shops and cannabis factories, leading charities claim. Gangs of organised criminals are transporting children from Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe to work in appalling conditions as slaves in Britain.

The parents of the children 'sell' their children to the traffickers, sometimes for sums up to £3000, believing that they are going to a better life. They are brought in on fake passports and put to work immediately.

'Slaves auctioned' by traffickers

BBC News, 4 June 2006

[accessed 3 January 2011]

COFFEE SHOP AUCTION - A CPS conference on Monday is to discuss airport crime, and its director in west London, Nazir Afzal, said: "Criminal activity at the UK's airports is on the increase.

"We are now seeing 'slave auctions' being held in public places at airports where brothel keepers are bidding for women destined for prostitution."

Appeal over NI human trafficking

BBC News, 22 May 2006

[accessed 3 January 2011]

There has been a call for more resources to help stamp out people trafficking in Northern Ireland.  The call was made by Women's Aid, which gave evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights in Westminster on Monday.

Scotland's sex trade goes deeper underground - Shock Scale Of Sick Trade

Scottish Daily Record & Sunday, February 22, 2006

[accessed 4 September 2012]

We were told by the girls how they were duped into applying for college places or jobs, then stripped of their passports and passed from gang to gang and city to city.

Many had no idea where they were staying.

Chief among the slave traders are Lithuanian, Russian and the Albanian crime gangs so vicious that even hardened Scottish criminals give them a wide berth.

Scotland's 6000 Sex Slaves

Richard Elias, Daily Record, Feb 22 2006

[accessed 3 January 2011]

[accessed 17 August 2014]

Brutal gangsters imprison the terrified girls in brothels, rape them repeatedly to break their spirits, and force them to have sex with up to 60 men each per day. Around 7000 women in Scotland work as escorts, or sell their bodies in massage parlours or saunas. And senior cops believe that 85 per cent of them - approximately 6000 - are sex slaves trafficked into Britain from eastern Europe and elsewhere.

Skelly said: "Trafficked girls do not work on the street because there is a lack of control there for the gangs.  "Instead, the girls are kept as virtual prisoners inside a house or a sauna, where they are much easier to keep an eye on. They work very long hours and are hardly allowed out at all."  Many of the girls are virgins when they arrive and the crooks gangrape them to "break them in".  Rape is also used as a punishment for girls who disobey.

Young women being trafficked into capital to work as sex slaves

Raymond Hainey, The Scotsman, Edinburgh, 18 February 2006

[accessed 3 January 2011]

In the other case, a Lithuanian woman was lured to Britain in November 2004 with the promise of a job as a dishwasher. But she was brought to Edinburgh and forced to have sex with several men for cash.

Her story came to light after she was moved to Birmingham, escaped her pimps and contacted police for help.

Trafficked women tricked into prostitution

Tryst Williams, Western Mail, Feb 7 2006

[accessed 3 January 2011]

Eastern European women have spoken of how they were duped into a life of prostitution on the streets of South Wales.

One young woman told the Week In Week Out team how she came to the UK on the promise of a job in a pub in a bid to help her family escape poverty. But after being trafficked across Europe she ended up in Britain, bought for £4,500, then beaten, raped and forced into prostitution.

Consultation on UK’s First National Action Plan to Tackle Human Trafficking

M2 Presswire, 5 January 2006

[accessed 19 April 2012]

The Government’s commitment to tackle the appalling modern day slave trade of human trafficking moved up a gear today as Home Office Minister Paul Goggins launched a public consultation on a national action plan which will build upon existing tough anti-trafficking measures.

The consultation paper outlines the work the Government has done so far to tackle human trafficking, from legislation and law enforcement to support for victims, and proposes an action plan for areas of future work. This plan will take a comprehensive end-to-end approach covering the different elements of the anti-trafficking strategy.

Traffickers face action to curb sex trade

David Harrison, The Telegraph, 01 Jan 2006

[accessed 4 January 2011]

The Government will this week announce a crackdown on the sex trafficking gangs which bring thousands of young women to Britain and force them into prostitution.

The "action plan" follows the Sunday Telegraph's undercover investigations into the cruel and fast-growing trade condemned as "21st century slavery".

Canada an “International Embarrassment” on Sex Trafficking

Terry Vanderheyden, LifeSiteNews, Montreal, March 2, 2006

[accessed 11 February 2016]

Canada and the United Kingdom have been singled out in an international study for failing to meet their obligations for the protection of victims of human trafficking, while other developed countries received praise for their efforts.

Of the countries evaluated: Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States, only Canada and the UK failed to meet their obligations to protect victims under the United Nations Trafficking Protocol and international best practices.

'I was raped and beaten. I lost the will to run away'

David Harrison, The Telegraph, 13 Nov 2005

[accessed 4 January 2011]

Working at two flats and a "massage parlor" six days a week, she charges £150-£400, depending on the time and services supplied - but has to hand over almost all the money to her Russian pimp.  She is one of thousands of vulnerable young girls who have been trafficked to Britain in the past few years from Eastern Europe, beaten, raped and coerced into a life of sexual slavery

Man denies trafficking prostitute

BBC News, 10 November 2005

[accessed 4 January 2011]

The jury was told on Thursday that the three Albanian men bought the woman in London for £5,000 after she was smuggled into Britain from the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius.  "She was treated as a commodity by a group of men and sold for £5,000. She was forced to hand over all her earnings to the men who controlled her."

Sex trafficking gang sent to jail

BBC News, 1 December 2005

[accessed 4 January 2011]

The police launched Operation Rotunda in December 2004 after receiving a tip-off from the BBC's Six O'Clock News, which had started an investigation into the disappearance of a 16-year-old Lithuanian girl.   The BBC learned the girl was ringing her parents from London, and police found her when they raided a brothel in Hounslow, where she was being forced to work as a prostitute.

An undercover operation, lasting four months, revealed the scale of the operation and revealed evidence of a number of women being forced to work as prostitutes against their will, including one teenager who had been a virgin before she was trafficked to the UK.   The Demarku "family firm" also bought and sold several girls from other traffickers and on one occasion were filmed by police taking a girl to central London and selling her for £4,000.

Sex-trafficked victims to be offered refuge

Jenifer Johnston, Sunday Herald, 06 November 2005

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 12 September 2011]

It is thought between 2000 and 6000 women and girls are trafficked into the UK to work as prostitutes each year. Almost all will have had their travel documents taken from them, and many are raped, beaten and intimidated into working as prostitutes, usually after being duped into believing they would be able to start a new life in Britain.  Even after the women have been rescued from the traffickers, many are too frightened of reprisals on themselves or their families to talk to the police or give evidence in court.

Sex-trade children flown to region

Paul Jeeves, Yorkshire Post, 10 November 2005

[accessed 17 August 2014]

Global crime syndicates have begun to use Yorkshire airports to evade detection to bring child prostitutes into the country in their multi-billion pound trade in human misery.
The criminal gangs behind the smuggling rings, which stretch as far afield as Africa, the Far East and across Europe, have switched their focus to smaller airports as they attempt to escape the attention of the authorities.

Immigrants tell of forced prostitution and slavery as trafficking gang is jailed

Rosie Cowan, crime correspondent, The Guardian, 2 November 2005

[accessed 4 January 2011]

Detectives believe the gang brought at least 600 illegal immigrants to the UK, many of whom were locked up, forced into prostitution, and told their families back home would be killed if they refused to obey orders.

Sex trade gang 'beggared belief'

BBC News, 18 October 2005

[accessed 4 January 2011]

Sentencing, Judge Barber said: "Their behavior absolutely beggared belief, they had taken two young Lithuanian girls and transported them to Sheffield like cattle before putting them into a life of forced prostitution.  "The treatment those two girls suffered at the men's hands just didn't bear thinking about.  "The men had no moral scruples or compassion."

Safety Fears For Women Rescued In UK Brothel Raid

Joint news release: Amnesty International and Anti-Slavery International, 4 October 2005

[accessed 17 August 2014]

According to reports, at least six of the women are being held in a detention centre, treatment that is more suited to criminals than to victims of a crime, and were not referred to a specialist shelter.

Six of the women were due to be removed from the UK on Wednesday (5 October), but after pressure the Home Office agreed to a temporary suspension of their removal.

Anti-Slavery International Director Mary Cuneen said:

"The police suspect these women were trafficked, if this is the case, under no circumstances should they have been held in a detention centre; they should have been provided with assistance and advice from a specialised agency. This is the absolute minimum of what should be provided for people suspected of having been trafficked."

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

"These cases show the vulnerability of victims of trafficking and the lack of protection for them in the UK. This is why the UK Government must sign up to the European Convention which guarantees protection for victims of trafficking."

The UK has no guaranteed protection for trafficked people, and has not signed the Council of Europe's European Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings.

Currently, trafficked people are not guaranteed any protection in the UK, exposing them to inappropriate treatment by the authorities as well as re-trafficking.

The European Convention guarantees a trafficked person at least 30 days to remain in the country to receive support, including emergency medical assistance, safe housing and legal advice.

Young Women Forced into Prostitution in the UK

LifeSiteNews, Birmingham, October 3, 2005

[accessed 13 February 2016]

A special task force of female officers led 19 women out of the Cuddles massage parlor in Birmingham Thursday. It was later discovered that an electric fence at rear prevented the women from escape; other evidence of forced sex-trade labor included firearms and batons.  A police spokesman told the BBC, “The women are believed to be of Eastern European origin and were tricked into the sex industry. They had their passports taken. They were locked into the venue during the evening to work and taken away during the day and locked in a house.”

CPS continues fight against sex trade traffickers

The Crown Prosecution Service CPS, 16 September 2005

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 12 September 2011]

The latest Crown Prosecution Service case against human traffickers ended today with the sentencing of Viktoras Larcenko, the last member of a gang convicted for smuggling girls from Lithuania in 2003 and forcing them into prostitution with threats and violence.  The pair had set up a network taking advantage of girls who wanted a better life but who subsequently found themselves working 14 hours a day in brothels and massage parlors.

Man in sex slave case 'kind with a purpose'

Cambridge Evening News, 30 June 2005

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 12 September 2011]

The woman, who worked as a teacher and gym instructor in Russia, claims she was held captive in a flat off De Freville Avenue, in Cambridge, between October 19 and November 1 last year where she was forced to have sex with up to six men a day.

'Child sacrifices in London'

Richard Edwards Crime Reporter, London Evening Standard, 16.06.05

[accessed 13 February 2016]

Boys from Africa are being murdered as human sacrifices in London churches.  They are brought into the capital to be offered up in rituals by fundamentalist Christian sects, according to a shocking report by Scotland Yard.

Followers believe that powerful spells require the deaths of "unblemished" male children.

Police believe such boys are trafficked from cities such as Kinshasa where they can be bought for a little as £10.

What s New section: The People Traffickers [PDF]

Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, "The Violence Against Women Monitor", July 2005, Issue 9

-- Source: The People Traffickers, The Yorkshire Post, 9 May 2005

[accessed 4 January 2011]

[page 5 and continued on pages 8 to 12]  Lithuanian authorities believe native gangs are recruiting and organizing the trafficking of women to the UK. Once victims arrive on British soil they are usually sold on to other gangs and, in particular Albanians.

BRITAIN BECOMES AN EASY OPTION FOR TRADE IN MISERY - HUMAN trafficking gangs are exploiting the expansion of the European Union, and targeting Britain as a prime market for young women forced into prostitution.  International criminals have earmarked Britain as an easy option, with a booming sex trade and where the highest prices are paid in towns and cities in every region, including Yorkshire.

Police criticized for leaving pimp to rape girl

Vikram Dodd, The Guardian, 25 May 2005

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 12 September 2011]

A judge called yesterday for an inquiry into police blunders which left a pimp free to repeatedly rape and beat a teenage girl and force her to work as a prostitute.  Agrol Xhabri, 22, was jailed for 12 years after abducting the 17-year-old Latvian girl from her father's house in east London last year in broad daylight.  Over two months he beat her, threatened to cut her "into little pieces", raped her around 30 times, strangled her and kept her prisoner in a room, allowing her out only to force her to have sex with other men.  Then,  on October 23 the woman escaped and called police from a phone box outside a massage parlour on Tottenham High Road where she had been forced to work.  She begged for police to rescue her, and was told by the 999 operator that help was on the way. But none came and her nightmare continued for almost three more weeks.

Freedom for Thai sex slave women

May 3 2005 -- Source: icSurreyOnline

[accessed 4 January 2011]

Police who raided the brothel, which was less than a mile from the town centre, uncovered information about a sophisticated prostitution gang that illegally brings girls from Asia into the UK to be used as sex slaves.  They then force them into prostitution, keeping them prisoner.

Government officials in sex trafficking ring arrested - Horrifying testimony of woman sex-slave traded for a Mercedes shakes political establishment of Yugoslav republic

Vesna Peric Zimonjic, Independent, Belgrade, 06 December 2002

[accessed 13 February 2016]

[accessed 27 February 2018]

The arrests are only a small part of the scandal, according to sources in the Montenegrin capital, Podgorica. It is an open secret in the Balkans that people-trafficking rings run through Montenegro to Bosnia and Kosovo, with profits from the dirty trade reaching millions of euros.

The sex-slave routes lead to Italy and Britain, where at least 1,400 women, mainly from eastern Europe, are tricked into prostitution each year. The trade is highly lucrative for the men who "own" them; in London, women can bring in about £100,000 a year for their pimps.

Hundreds of children 'vanishing'

BBC News, 13 May, 2005

[accessed 4 January 2011]

Between July and September 2001, 300 had disappeared, and police fear thousands may go missing annually.  Child welfare experts say the figures hint at the scale of child trafficking, sometimes for labor or benefit fraud.  A previous BBC investigation found some African children were being held by their parents' creditors, so they could claim extra benefits.

Slavery fears for 'lost' children

Matthew Chapman, BBC Radio Five Live, 15 February, 2004

[accessed 20 June 2013]

Neither the Metropolitan Police or the Immigration Service would officially release the findings but BBC Radio Five Live understands the children could not be found at up to 30 of the addresses visited during that three month period.  Police discovered that in some cases the same address had been given by successive children who could not be traced.

African trafficking ring linked to UK

BBC News, 8 July, 2003

[accessed 20 June 2013]

One father in Bafoussam said he cries every day for his missing 14-year-old daughter.   He had persuaded her to work as a babysitter for £10 a month after ill-health forced him to give up his own job as a teacher.

Far More Lithuanians Sold Into Prostitution In Britain Since EU Membership

Agence France-Presse AFP, 25-Feb-05

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 12 September 2011]

The number of young Lithuanian women sold for sex in Britain has increased from "single cases to dozens every month" since the Baltic state joined the European Union last year, the head of Lithuania's Interpol bureau said.

Tackle Child Exploitation, Ministers Urged

Maggie Stratton, Yorkshire Post, 21 February 2005

[accessed 4 January 2011]

Based on reports from social services, police and immigration, it is known at least 250 children were trafficked into the United Kingdom between 1999 and 2003.  UNICEF believes the true figure is much higher and that in the vast majority of cases children are brought in for labor.  The report says the restaurant trade is a prime employer of trafficked children. Others are employed in domestic labor or for gang masters in farms and factories. Girls have been brought to work in the sex trade.

Migrants Subject To Forced Labor In The UK

Union Network International UNI, 02/04/2005

[accessed 12 September 2011]

[accessed 27 February 2018]

This report reveals that migrants who can legally work in this country are also shockingly badly exploited because they are unable to enforce their legal rights because of the power their employer has over them.  The report, 'Forced Labor and Migration to the UK' reveals abuse, including very long hours, pay below the minimum wage and dangerous working conditions in a range of sectors including construction, hospitality, agriculture, food processing, horticulture, contract cleaning, nursing and care homes.  Employers and agencies who break the law are rarely prosecuted or even inspected by the authorities.

Migrant women forced into cheap sex trade

Rosie Cowan, crime correspondent, The Guardian, 11 February 2005

[accessed 4 January 2011]

London is witnessing a rising influx of eastern European prostitutes, many of them forced to sell unprotected sex for as little as £30 a time.  Many of the women are trafficked here, under the illusion they will get jobs as waitresses or au pairs, or perhaps as lap dancers and nightclub hostesses - but will not have to sleep with customers.

Sex Slaves Vice Baron Sentenced

BBC News, 22 February, 2005

[accessed 4 January 2011]

women kept by Ismailej, an illegal immigrant, were forced to work seven days a week, for up to 13 hours a day, and give up their passports to satisfy his "love of money".  Brian O'Neill, prosecuting, told the court that Ismailej was the ringleader and that he did not regard the women as anything other than chattels.

The Third Way's Dirtiest Secret

Felicity Lawrence, consumer affairs correspondent, The Guardian, 2/3/2005

[accessed 4 January 2011]

A year ago this Saturday, 23 Chinese cockle pickers died at Morecambe Bay. A major new report uncovers the scale of forced labor in Britain and makes recommendations on curbing this new form of slavery.

It is not just the sex industry that traffics and exploits migrants, but our key sectors - food and agriculture, contract cleaning, hotels and catering, construction and care homes. Moreover, the state uses migrants' forced labour in many cases - when it outsources local authority care to the private sector, when it uses agencies to recruit NHS nurses who end up living on £5 a week, when it uses contract cleaners provided by the cheapest bidder for its offices, or when subcontracted migrant labour is used on private finance initiative construction.  The UK has Europe's most flexible labour force; it lives in fear and squalor, is paid a pittance and is bussed round the country to work in the shadows of the night shift.

Damning report on migrants delayed as government fears poll backlash

Hsiao-Hung Pai, The Guardian, 3 February 2005

[accessed 4 January 2011]

The publication of a ground-breaking report on forced labour and the exploitation of migrant workers in Britain has been delayed after attempts by the government to hold it back until after the general election.

It catalogues coercive techniques used by private employers to force migrants to work for low wages and in poor conditions, from physical and sexual violence to debt bondage and blackmail.

Illegal migrant jailed for sex-slave ring

Helen Nugent, Times Online, February 23, 2005

[accessed 3 May 2012]

An illegal immigrant who made a fortune from trafficking East European sex slaves was jailed for 11 years yesterday.  Vullnet Ismailaj, 27, an Albanian, smuggled scores of young Lithuanian women into Britain with the promise that they would earn good money.  Once they arrived, however, they were put straight to work, forced to surrender their passports and work up to 13 hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week.

Slavery 'worse than ever' - Hague

BBC News, 25 January, 2005

[accessed 4 January 2011]

There is more slavery now than there was at the height of the slave trade, former Conservative leader William Hague has warned.  Mr Hague said criminal gangs were blighting the UK with the problem, with women pressed into prostitution.

Sex slaves trafficker is jailed for 18 years

Sheffield Today, 23 December 2004

[accessed 4 January 2011]

Sex slaves trafficker is jailed for 18 years An illegal immigrant has been jailed for 18 years for trafficking women from Eastern Europe and forcing them to work as prostitutes in a Sheffield massage parlour.  The case was the first of its kind to reach trial in the UK since new laws were introduced last year to halt the burgeoning trade in humans. Albanian Taulant Merdanaj, aged 28, lured the Lithuanian women aged 21 and 24, to Britain with false promises of employment. When they arrived at Heathrow airport they were met and driven to Sheffield's Park Hill flats to become sex slaves. Merdanaj regularly raped one of the women, aged 21, and threatened to kill her if she contacted police. Both women were stripped of their passports and identification. They were frequently beaten and not allowed out unless accompanied by Merdanaj and his co-accused Elidon Bregu, a 19-year-old Kosovan.

Men jailed for selling teenager

BBC News, 16 March, 2005

[accessed 4 January 2011]

Three illegal immigrants have been jailed for a total of 40 years for selling a teenage girl as a sex slave.  The 16-year-old, from Lithuania, was re-sold seven times, repeatedly raped and forced to work as a prostitute in Sheffield and the Midlands.  Shaban Maka, 24, Ilir Barjami, 25, both from Sheffield, and Xhevahir Pisha, 21, from Coventry, were found guilty of trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Children groomed for sex trafficking

Madeleine Brindley, WalesOnline, Nov 9 2004

[accessed 20 June 2013]

Children in Wales are being enslaved into a sordid life of sexual exploitation and prostitution, experts warned today.  Adults are grooming and trafficking vulnerable children as young as 12 from Welsh care homes to work in massage parlours throughout South Wales.  The shocking trade is being fuelled by the internet, putting adults intent on fulfilling their depraved sexual desires and fantasies in physical contact with these exploited young children.

Groundbreaking sentence increase for human trafficker

The Crown Prosecution Service CPS, 29/04/2004

[accessed 20 June 2013]

[scroll down]

Roger Coe-Salazar, District Crown Prosecutor for CPS Wood Green Trials Unit, said: "I did not feel that the overall sentence of ten years adequately reflected the enormous human misery he, and people like him, inflict on highly vulnerable young women. Accordingly, we referred the matter to the Attorney General as an 'unduly lenient sentence' in the hope that the Court of Appeal would impose a sentence that established a sentencing yard stick for this despicable crime. We will continue with our work to seize the profits gained by Plakici through the exploitation of women."

Cameroon tackles sex tourism

BBC News, 12 August, 2003

[accessed 4 January 2011]

Cameroon has decided to tackle sex tourism, which the authorities say is threatening to undermine the country's campaign against the spread of HIV/Aids.

TOURIST INFLUX - Last month the BBC discovered an international child-trafficking ring based in Cameroon with links to Britain.  Most of the children were traced to a northwest Cameroonian town of Bafoussam where Aids-free girls were sold as brides by a tribal chief only later to find themselves working in brothels in the UK.

Leading UK charities call on government to sign up to new anti-trafficking convention

Joint statement by Amnesty International, Anti-Slavery International, the National Federation of Women's Institutes and UNICEF UK,  16 May 2005

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 12 September 2011]

Home Office research in 2000, estimated that up to 1,420 women were trafficked into the UK for sexual exploitation (1). Trafficked women and girls, from countries including Moldova, Romania, Albania, Thailand and Nigeria have been forced to work as prostitutes in every London borough (2). According to ECPAT UK research in 2004, social services in 32 out of 33 London Boroughs are concerned about trafficked children within their care (3).

South Africa regional centre for human trafficking

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN, Johannesburg, 23 Jun 2004

[accessed 9 March 2015]

Malawian women are targeted by trafficking groups because they do not require a visa to enter the United Kingdom. Initial recruitment takes place through Malawian businesswomen, who are linked to the smuggling syndicates. Young women are lured by promises of job opportunities in Europe.

Upon arrival, as the IOM discovered in the Netherlands, the women are sold to brothel owners for $10,000, and told they must work as prostitutes to pay off their debts. "The initiation process involves a ritual used to threaten the women," Martens said. They are asked for underwear, hair or nail clippings and threatened with death by magic if they do not cooperate. The IOM discovered that some brothels even brand or tattoo the women.

Raids net 13 suspected of human trafficking

Sandra Laville, The Guardian, November 5, 2004

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 12 September 2011]

They might be told they are coming here to be a student, but they end up in bonded employment working in a kitchen or as a fast food chef and paid minimal wages so they can't discharge their debt.

Child sex tourism

One Big Village, a community education initiative of World Vision Australia,  4th October, 2004

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 12 September 2011]

CHILD SEX TOURISM - Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: than 250,000 sex tourists visit Asia each year, with 25 percent coming from the United States, 16 percent from Germany and 13 percent from both Australia and the United Kingdom.

Child prostitutes' sad stories

Kim Catcheside, Social Affairs Correspondent, BBC News, 27 June, 2003

[accessed 4 January 2011]

They told Ms Turner they had been kidnapped in Africa, by criminals, and sold into sexual slavery.  Traffickers had terrified the children into submission with a mixture of physical violence and rape, and the psychological threat of voodoo.

She told authorities that she and other girls had been picked up from local authority hostels, and taken overland to Italy.  On the way they were gang-raped and forced to sell themselves in lorry parks across Europe.  When they eventually arrived in Europe they were taken to brothels to work.

CENTRAL ASIA: Special report on human trafficking

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN, Ankara, 21 October 2003

[accessed 9 March 2015]

Responding to a job advertisement in a local paper, she accepted an au pair post in the UK, and paid out close to US $1,800 for flights, visas and the promise of language training. But after her arrival, she discovered her sponsors had other plans. There was no job, no language course, and with food and accommodation at a premium in London, she soon found herself going into debt to her so-called benefactors.

"I borrowed 350 pounds and was given a menial job cleaning rooms in a small hotel. No one wanted to hire me. I didn't have the right papers and I couldn't pay this money back," she explained. Later, the Russian-speaking woman who had met her at the airport introduced her to her Albanian boyfriend, who proposed that Svetlana work at his sauna providing massages for visiting clientele. "This was a shock for me. I didn't know what to do," she said. "Suddenly I felt trapped."

But Svetlana was lucky. She was not subject to violence or rape when she refused to comply with those who trafficked her to the UK. Still possessing her passport and return ticket to Almaty, she managed to escape with just the clothes on her back. Many others though, have not been so fortunate.

UNICEF report reveals changing face of child trafficking

UNICEF via M2 Presswire, July 29, 2003

[accessed 19 April 2012]

The face of child trafficking to the UK is changing, with children being transported from an increasing number of countries and traffickers widening their operations with new methods and destinations, said UNICEF UK in a new report published today as part of its End Child Exploitation campaign.

The report, Stop the Traffic!, says that hundreds of known cases of trafficked children are just the tip of the iceberg. Thousands may be trafficked to the UK every year, mainly from West Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia, but the scale of the problem is hidden by the nature of the crime and by a lack of police statistics. Police have been unable to monitor the situation because trafficking has not been a criminal offence.

The Government's Sexual Offences Bill, currently in the House of Commons, makes it illegal to traffic people into the UK for commercial sexual exploitation, but children trafficked for other reasons remain unprotected.

Dying to Leave

Thirteen, New York Public Media, September 25th, 2003

[accessed 26 December 2010]

[accessed 18 February 2018]

VICTIMS - Up to 15,000 women are trafficked annually into the U.K. for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Women from Eastern Europe, particularly from Albania, Romania, Bulgaria, and Lithuania are brought to the U.K. for the sex trade. These victims — like many other women around the world trafficked for the sex trade — are kidnapped or lured with promises of legitimate jobs. Albanian women are at the top of the list of Eastern European women trafficked to the U.K., and the situation may get even worse: An Albanian government official recently announced that organized criminal gangs from the country are specifically targeting Britain to traffic women and children for prostitution.

Women from East Asia, especially Thailand and China, are also trafficked into the country. A 1998 Home Office study revealed that of the 71 trafficked women caught by the police 35 were from East Asia, most of them from Thailand. Hong Kong triads and Chinese crime syndicates bring in women as tourists or use forged travel documents. These women, under the threat of violence, are forced to work long hours — 12- to 14-hour shifts, receiving little or none of the money the men pay.

Women are not the only victims. A 2003 UNICEF study determined that the U.K. has become susceptible to child trafficking. Children from Africa are brought to Britain for domestic servitude or sexual exploitation. In recent months, African children brought to the country for slave labor and sexual exploitation were discovered during an organized crime raid, while others were discovered after they were abandoned by a suspected criminal gang.

While women and children are trafficked primarily for sexual exploitation, men are exploited in sweatshops or in the agricultural industry. The 58 Chinese men who died in June 2000 while being smuggled into Dover, if they had survived, would have more than likely been forced into slave labor to pay their debt to their smugglers.

United Kingdom Threat Assessment of Serious and Organised Crime 2003 [PDF]

National Criminal Intelligence Service NCIS

[accessed 17 August 2014]


4.25 Human trafficking is essentially concerned with the exploitation of migrants as a resource. It takes various forms, including exploitation as cheap tied labour, for example in illicit sweatshops producing counterfeit goods. However, many of those who are trafficked are forced to work in the vice trade as prostitutes.


4.26 Traffickers use a number of methods to recruit migrants into the vice trade. Most involve some form of deception, and exploit the lack of opportunities open to women in source countries. Traffickers place advertisements in local newspapers and media, advertising legitimate employment opportunities in the EU, for example as maids, nannies, bar and catering staff, receptionists, clerical staff, dancers and entertainers. Advertisements are also placed offering marriage opportunities to women seeking EU husbands, and front agencies are also used for this purpose. Other victims are knowingly recruited into the sex trade, but are unaware of the conditions under which they will be forced to work. Some trafficking victims are kidnapped, usually in the Balkans and Former Soviet Union, but this is less common.


4.33 Several thousand unaccompanied minors arrive in the UK each year and claim asylum. The minors may enter to join family already in the UK or to study. In some instances, adults claim to be minors assuming they will receive preferential treatment. In only a small proportion of cases is there any evidence of trafficking. However, the scale of trafficking may be greater than the evidence suggests, as there is no national system for tracking unaccompanied minors after arrival. Moreover, trafficking in minors is not a notifiable offence, meaning that not all cases will necessarily be captured in official statistics.

Stopping Traffic: Exploring the extent of, and responses to, trafficking in women for sexualexploitation in the UK

Liz Kelly and Linda Regan, Home Office - Police Research Series, Paper 125, ISBN 1-84082-466-2, 2000

[Long URL]

[accessed 13 February 2022]

This paper presents the findings of research carried out to assess the extent of trafficking in women for the purposes of sexual exploitation and the law enforcement responses in the UK. It estimates the number of women trafficked into conditions of sexual slavery, the ways in which they are trafficked and the responses of all relevant agencies in tackling and preventing such trafficking.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 6 October 2000

[accessed 2 January 2011]

[49] In the light of the socio-economic situation in some of the more economically disadvantaged Overseas Territories and the high truancy rate, particularly for males, the Committee is concerned about the lack of information and adequate data on the situation of child labor and economic exploitation in the Overseas Territories.


Freedom House Country Report -

2018 Edition

[accessed 8 May 2020]


The 2015 Modern Slavery Act increased punishments for human traffickers and provides greater protections for victims. However, its implementation has been weak. Children and migrant workers are among those most vulnerable to forced labor and sex trafficking.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 11 February 2020]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – Women were trafficked for sexual exploitation from Central and Eastern Europe (primarily the Balkans and the former Soviet Union) and Asia, including China. While many or most trafficked women worked in the sex industry, women, men, and children were also trafficked for labor exploitation in domestic service, agricultural and rural labor, construction, and catering.

Trafficking victims were most often subject to debt bondage, the withholding of travel documents, false information about law enforcement and immigration penalties, or threats of violence against them or their families. Traffickers less frequently employed physical and sexual violence.

Organized international gangs allegedly were responsible for most trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.

SECTION 6 WORKER RIGHTS – [d] There were reports that children were trafficked into the country and forced to work as domestic servants, beggars, pickpockets, drug couriers, or in sweatshops and restaurants.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery – United Kingdom UK",, [accessed <date>]