Media stories – like Leighton Buzzard and “modern slavery” – can sometimes throw up hidden, cruel facts about our society; and start people talking. Talk is good. It’s a start. Media stories can also throw up startling statistics. Evidence is good. Here’s two statistics that help build a case for a committed, co-ordinated multi-agency approach to stop modern slavery in the UK.
• 5,000 people are in some form of forced labour in the UK (guess-timate from Anti-Slavery International)
• 1,481 reports were received by the UK Human Trafficking Centre of suspected trafficking in the two years up to end of March 2011.
The statistics sit uncomfortably with Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Right: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”
If you want to know more about modern slavery, then this is a useful place to start: a Q and A by BBC Home Affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani.
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