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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The 21st Century and the slavery in the UK

Por Nina

Almost five thousand potential victims of modern slavery in the United Kingdom were identified by a telephone line since 2016, the non-governmental organization (NGO) Unseen announced. The founder and executive director of the British organization, Andrew Wallis, referred in a statement to the work of Unseen to help people out of the circle of exploitation.

According to the members of the NGO, during the first year of operation of the telephone line against modern slavery, some 3,710 calls were received from victims and private citizens. Unseen established the telephone line of labor exploitation in 2016. Since then, they received calls from companies to learn about the risks of this scourge, requests for help and reports of possible cases of slavery.

Of the four thousand 900 alleged victims located, about three thousand 550 suffered from labor exploitation in businesses such as nail salons and car wash sites, while 774 were sexually exploited and 128 suffered from domestic servitude, added the NGO.

The police recognized the value of the telephone line because it allows citizens to share their suspicions, as well as giving the exploited the possibility of reporting their situation and asking for help. The head of the anti-slavery brigade of the Metropolitan Police, Phil Brewer, insisted that "modern slavery is a hidden crime and the forces of order depend in large part on society to be able to pursue it." The British government estimates that at least 13,000 people in the United Kingdom are victims of forced labor, sexual exploitation and domestic servitude, but according to police considerations, the real number could reach higher figures.

The Prime Minister, Theresa May, stressed on several occasions the need for joint work between governments, non-profit organizations and security agencies to address this problem. In 2015, the Parliament of this country approved the Modern Slavery Act to prosecute human traffickers, protect those at risk of falling into forced labor networks and urge companies to be more vigilant in that regard. For its part, the International Labor Organization denounced that around 25 million people in the world were victims of forced labor in 2016, working in factories, farms and fishing boats, and as domestic or sexual workers.

Unseen established the labor exploitation telephone line in October 2016, after receiving one million pounds (1.1 million euros) from Google for financing. Since then, the line has received calls from companies that want to report on the risks of labor exploitation, requests for help from victims and reports of possible cases of slavery.