23 March 2007

Britain's Modern Slave Auctions

Stop The TraffikThe Government's U-turn on their previous refusal to sign the 2005 European Convention on Action against Trafficking, giving victims of human trafficking more time to recover from their ordeal before deciding whether to help police, is to be welcomed. Speaking on behalf of the Conservatives, who had called for Britain to sign up to the international convention earlier in the year, shadow home secretary David Davis said this was necessary for "moral reasons" such as protecting exploited victims, some of whom are forced to have sex with up to 40 men a day.

According to Home Office estimates, there were 4,000 victims of trafficking working in prostitution in the UK during 2003, up from just 1,400 two years earlier, and it is believed the problem has continued to grow since then. The Crown Prosecution Service last year revealed that "slave auctions" of women sold into forced prostitution are carried out on the concourses of British airports, with women being sold to the highest bidder as soon as they arrive on British soil from countries including eastern European states.