To mark Anti-Slavery Day, South Yorkshire Police and their partner agencies were at Doncaster Sheffield airport on Tuesday 18th October carrying out an operation to tackle human trafficking and modern slavery, both of which remain national issues.
Although many people may not realise it, modern slavery remains a huge issue both within the UK and worldwide, affecting the lives of thousands in the UK alone. Slavery affects some of the most vulnerable people in our community, with the trafficking of people for sexual exploitation one of the most prevalent forms of slavery in the UK.
Exploitation can take one of many forms, including but not limited to sexual exploitation, domestic slavery, or the use of people for financial gain. Victims are often subjected to abuse and violence as well as other forms of systematic control.
Police were also keen to raise awareness of the mechanisms by which people can fall into the trap of modern slavery. Victims are often tricked or mislead into believing that they have a firm offer of employment in the UK or another country, or that they will have better economic prospects for themselves and their families if they relocate.
Traffickers will then pay upfront costs, for example travel and accommodation, and then expect to recover their costs from the individual once they have reached their destination. This creates a “debt” which the individual must work to “pay off” through either legal or illegal means. Often the traffickers make it impossible to do so, trapping the individual into slavery.
People who wish to report an example of suspected modern slavery or human trafficking can call 101 or you can contact the Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 0121 700.
For more information please visit the South Yorkshire Police website at www.southyorks.police.uk/modernslavery.