Human trafficking describes when people are taken against their will in order to be exploited. It is essentially forcing somebody to be a slave and is, therefore, illegal in the UK and almost anywhere in the world.
If you become aware of somebody who is part of a trafficking gang or fear you may be at risk of being taken against your will you should contact the police at the earliest possible opportunity.
Types of trafficking
The most common forms of trafficking involve abducting people against their will to work as slaves, usually for sexual exploitation or forced manual labour.
Within the UK the majority of human trafficking offences relate to women being taken against their will and brought to the UK where they are forced to work as prostitutes.
Although prostitution is illegal in the UK, it is still practiced in many areas across the country and woman are taken, usually from Eastern Europe, and brought to the UK by a gang who then force them to work as prostitutes while keeping their earnings.
Despite attempts to crack down on human trafficking, the practice is unfortunately still present, particularly in Eastern Europe where it is even said to be on the rise.
How gangs operate
Criminal gangs will often place adverts for jobs in London promising the individuals that apply that they will be treated well and paid a decent salary. The advertising is often for waitressing, bar work or lap dancers, but certainly not for prostitutes. The individuals are then transported across Europe, usually in horrific conditions, and then made to work as prostitutes when they arrive at the destination.
Many of the individuals who are victims of human trafficking are also subject to physical abuse and threats should they attempt to leave.
However, most individuals would not have the money to return to their country anyway as they are forced to work for almost no money and rely on the gang members for their food.
Both of these organisations provide accommodation and support for women who have been trafficked, with the aim of helping them return to their countries.
The police largely rely on feedback and information from the public in order to track criminal gangs who facilitate human trafficking.
Although many of the most common routes from Eastern Europe to the UK are well known and prostitution itself is an illegal act in the UK, there is still a large problem in regard to human trafficking to the UK.
Recent attempts to raise awareness about human trafficking have been made across the UK. Nevertheless, it is information from the public concerning any activity which could be linked to human trafficking that the police still rely heavily on.
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