Human trafficking, sexual exploitation and modern-day slavery happen all over the world, including in the UK.
Many victims of trafficking are recruited through deception or coercion often with the promise of a better life abroad. However, in many other cases threats and physical violence are also used, including abduction and kidnapping.
Traffickers will often use false documents or withhold documents including identification and passports from the victims making it harder for them to seek support for fear of deportation or arrest.
The majority of victims of trafficking are women and girls, and over a third of those trafficked worldwide are children.
Some women are trafficked into domestic servitude and others into sexual exploitationVictims of trafficking may experience:
- Physical violence and abuse,
- They may be denied access to healthcare by the trafficker or be afraid to access it due to their immigration status,
- Sexual violence, assaults, and rape,
- Threats, lies, deception,
- Being coerced into debt with the traffickers and then need to work to pay it off. This is called debt bondage,
- Drug and alcohol abuse,
- Isolation from friends and family,
- No freedom of movement,
- Fear of authorities.
Experiencing trafficking can have profound long and short term physical and emotional effects due to the large amount of trauma that a victim may have suffered.
Ashiana is a specialist charity that helps women who are trafficked find accommodation and support. Here are stories from the women they have supported who have survived human trafficking.
For more information about Ashiana visit: http://www.ashianasheffield.org/