UK SLAVERY AND TRAFFICKING

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Conference
2012 National Women's Conference
Date
12 October 2011
Decision
Carried

As the economic vice bites deeper and the whole world struggles to maintain status quo on everything from stability in the stock markets to coping with the effect of massive unemployment, there will always be a type of entrepreneur to exploit natural resources and turn a profit.

These people pride themselves in supplying a rare commodity, sometimes smuggling it across borders and the boundaries of accepted behaviour. Of course they also need a buyer for these precious jewels. The eventual owners will not care if the transportation method was conventional as long as they can enjoy its rare gifts.

But these jewels are not dazzling fossilised mineral deposits to adorn a pretty neck but living, breathing young girls and sometimes boys; to fuel the insidious sexual slavery market under the guise of domestic employ.

Many are transported by gang masters as undocumented migrants believing they are coming to the UK to work as house staff or provide childcare for rich families and gain an education to help them support their families back home and better their lives. For those who have passports and a right to come to the UK, the journey maybe more comfortable, but on arrival at the dock or airport their passport will be confiscated. From there on, their future is sealed. Many will be split from and denied all contact with their friends and families and the desocialising will begin in earnest. They may be brainwashed into thinking the UK is a dangerous place and it is unsafe for them to go outside at all; or worse drugged, beaten, tortured and gang raped into submission. They are then sold again and again to different areas and brothels to provide a constant fresh new supply to feed an every hungry devouring monster.

In the UK this year the 2012 Olympics will provide rich picking grounds for the gang masters; it is quite likely the girls are already being selected in their own countries prior to being trafficked here.

It is sickening to note there are now ten times more slaves in the world than at the end of the transatlantic slave trade.

The gang masters licensing agency is only licensed to operate in Fisheries, Forestry or Agriculture and there are no constraints on Construction, hotels or domestic labour markets which makes it almost impossible to legislate or keep track of where these victims end up.

At Heathrow Airport in one month early in 2011 unaccompanied children arriving as young as ten were taken into Local Authority care yet four months later were found working as child prostitutes in Italy where they had been trafficked again, after being tracked down by their gang masters and spirited away.

Conference calls upon the National Women’s Committee to:

1)Work with Labour Link on campaigning to UK Government to highlight the plight of these individuals.

2)Use the expertise within the sister organisations, the International Committee and the Regional Women’s Committee and Equality Officers to encourage branches to discuss and feedback in the spirit of information exchange and education.

3)Report back to National Women’s Conference in 2013 with progress made.