Modern Slavery in the UK
The director or vulnerabilities at the National Crime Agency (NCA), Will Kerr, on 10 August 2017 confirmed to reporters the widespread scale of modern slavery in the UK.
The director reported that, amongst victims, the most common nationalities brought into the UK are from Eastern Europe, Vietnam and Nigeria. It was confirmed that there are instances of modern slavery in “every large town and city in the country” and that there are tens of thousands of victims across the UK. It was reported that victims are being forced to work in various positions including working at car washes, in nail bars, in construction and agriculture as well as in prostitution and food processing industries.
Mr Kerr confirmed that the NCA is assisting with 300 police operations targeting modern slavery and the scale of the issue is greater than was previously anticipated.
The public has been encouraged to be alert for signs of modern slavery and to make reports to the NCA of any suspicions.
The report demonstrates that although the rights of workers in the UK are amongst the most sophisticated in the world, it is not possible for some in our society to access these rights. Legislation has been brought in requiring large organisations to publish the steps taken to prevent slavery in their business and their supply chains, but it is clear that this can only bring limited success.
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