Jean Lambert, Green MEP for London, has issued the following statement to mark the UK Day against Anti-Slavery .
“On this important day, we are reminded of the startling fact that there are more people in slavery in the world today than in the entire 350 year history of the slave trade; one in eight is in Europe and there may be at least 10,000 trafficked men, women and children in the UK. It is clear that slavery has not been left behind in the history books.
“Human trafficking is a violation of human rights, an organised crime that recognises no boundaries. Every year in the EU, hundreds of thousands of people in vulnerable positions are traded for the purposes of sexual or labour exploitation, forced marriage or domestic servitude, forced into horrifying situations by unscrupulous individuals and used for commercial gain. No Member State is free from the scourge of this appalling problem and as such all Member States must be part of the solution.
“The EU strategy towards the eradication of trafficking is an important tool in ending this crime as is national legislation, but action must be adequately resourced and implemented across all Member States if we are to free victims from their servitude and see traffickers brought to justice. The labour market must also be properly regulated and inspected to prevent employers from taking on victims of trafficking, lured by the prospect of a cheap, docile workforce which doesn’t complain or ask questions. It is vital that this is brought to an end via regular check-ups in sectors vulnerable to this abuse by a well trained inspection force.
“One of the greatest human rights abuse is having your freedom callously snatched away from you by traffickers or crime syndicates looking to make huge profits through your misery. This can only be stopped by continued and concerted action at the national and international level which works towards the same aim – to eradicate trafficking for good.”
Notes to Editor
1. The Anti-Slavery Day become law in the UK in 2010 following an Act of Parliament, which defines modern-day slavery as child trafficking, forced labour, domestic servitude and trafficking for sexual exploitation.