Thursday, October 24, 2013

Blog 7: An Underworld of Male Slavery Comes to Light in the U.K.

According to Kate Harris' article published in the Times, human trafficking of males is on the rise in the U.K. Recently Simester, a 43 year old male, was rescued after thirteen years of forced labor in the U.K. His case caused a major rise in the awareness and activist movements to end human trafficking in the UK and Europe and began an operation called Operation Imperial which led police raids to rescue others. It has been found that more than three-fourths of those forced into slave labor are males, but that these males account for less than one-fourth of all human trafficking cases world wide. It was also found that many of the males trafficked within the U.K. had pre-existing mental issues and/or drug dependency of some type. They average men preyed upon were newcomers to the area and often did not speak the language. Unfortunately, the fines and prosecutions are not very risky and many traffickers go unpunished. This leads to many trafficked peoples going unheard and with rescue.

I found it extremely important that Harris mentioned that many of the men trafficked do not speak the language and do not know their way around the areas that they are forced to work in. The language barrier leads to the men not understanding what is happening. Often they believe they are about to begin a new job or something of the sort. Once they realize what is going on, they are kept in isolation. When they are in the presence of someone that can help, they cannot communicate effectively enough to get across their need for help. If they were to escape, they would have nowhere to go and would not be able to tell people what had happened to them. They also witnessed those in forced labor with them being beaten, which reduced their attempts to flee. Language is such an important factor within international human trafficking, yet it is one that often gets left out of the picture.

Caroline Califf

October 24th, 2013

4:41 pm

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