Published on October 18th, 2022 | by Joelle Mckie0
Welcome to the Anti-Slavery day edition of our newsletter
Welcome to the 2nd edition of our newsletter. Today is Anti-slavery day, a time we dedicate as a nation to encouraging local authorities, organisations, and individuals to do all we can to raise awareness on the growing threat of human trafficking, and the steps we can take to eradicate it.
Cases of human trafficking are on the rise, and despite the startling surge in recent years, we’ve seen this crime become of decreasing importance to the government, with the decision to redefine it as solely an illegal immigration and asylum issue – the legacy of the government’s hostile environment policy. We’re disappointed by the Home Office’s decision, which has been met with criticism from charities and NGOs who support slavery survivors. The consequences of this are already becoming clear as victims are less inclined to seek help if they fear deportation, or even criminalisation.
Recently, Olympic gold medallist, Sir Mo Farah’s harrowing account of being trafficked to the UK as a child, shocked the nation. It is a reminder to us all just how prevalent modern slavery is, while showing how devastating and long lasting the effects can be for victims and their families well after the ordeal is over. Find out more as our trustee, Peter Cox, delves further into this story.
Thank you, Sir Mo Farah
Tricked and ripped away from his family in Somaliland – Hussein Abdi Kahin, at 9 years old, was informed by a stranger he’d be taken to live with relatives in the UK. Once he arrived, his relative’s contact details were ripped up in his face, and he was given the new name, Mohammed Farah. He was forced to take care of another family’s children, and constantly faced threats that he wouldn’t see his family again if he informed anybody of his situation. Now at the age of 39, a father of 4, and the most successful male distance track runner to date – Sir Mo’s revelation about his turbulent childhood was a sobering story for us all to learn. In telling his story so publicly and bravely, Sir Mo Farah has shown us all that trafficking, and slavery is still happening to vulnerable people in UK. Whilst Sir Mo has gone on to be a national hero, his story helps us understand it can happen to anyone in any of our communities.
Modern day slavery can happen in so many forms. Sex trafficking, forced labour, domestic servitude, exploitation through county lines, and even organ harvesting are known ways the vulnerable are cruelly exploited.
The Government state that modern slavery costs the UK £4.3 billion each year based upon their estimate of around 13,000 victims being somewhere out there hidden away in the UK. However, experts with access to independent research say this figure is a serious underestimate. In their view, the number of victims suffering, but still controlled and hidden away, is more like 100,000.
The 2015 Modern Slavery Act demonstrates there is a genuine commitment to deal with this human tragedy but unfortunately, more recent legislation like the Nationality and Borders Act designed to address immigration and asylum concerns, is a backward step in the fight against modern day slavery. The Act will deter many victims from coming forward coming out of hiding through due to fears of deportation but also and missing out on vital support as a result due of to the tight deadlines on potential victims reporting their exploitation many will miss out on vital support. Don’t forget that many of these victims are British nationals so it is ludicrous that these latest laws have been put in place supposedly to deal with people smuggling in small boats across the Channel.
At least Sir Mo Farah’s testimony will help shine a light into the undercover dark world of modern slavery. Perhaps Sir Mo’s revelations will make politicians think again and give courage to more victims to come forward for the help they are entitled to and desperately need. It will still need local communities to identify signs of suspicious slavery activity by learning how to identify the signs of human trafficking.
Do you want to help?
Want to support victims of modern slavery, why not join our team?
CCAT continues to raise awareness through its marvellous volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, please email us and we will get in touch if any opportunities arise.
Our aim is to make Croydon slavery free – we can’t do this without your help. To help focus our efforts we’re asking everyone living and working in Croydon to take and share our Supporters and Volunteer Survey. The survey is anonymised and should take no more than 4 minutes to complete – please help us, take the survey here.
You can help people that have been ensnared in the endless horror of trafficking by watching our Spot the Signs video so you can report a suspected case. The modern slavery helpline is 08000 121 700. If you’d like to help our team continue to raise awareness about the horrors of modern slavery you can donate here.
Thank you for your continued support.