CHTCS-Logo-For-SiteThe U.K. government predicts that there are about 13,000 victims of modern slavery in Britain, yet there have only been 130 convictions related to human trafficking.

The Modern Slavery Act was passed by Members of Parliament earlier this year, which increases maximum sentence from 14 years to life imprisonment and enhances techniques to identify victims. As a part of this act, the independent anti-slavery commissioner position was created and Kevin Hyland was appointed to fill the role.

Kevin Hyland has since said that both consumers and the police lack awareness of modern slavery in the U.K. He recently asked consumers who suspect business workers to be victims of trafficking or exploitation to boycott and report those businesses. “In cases that have been reported to the police, [workers] look hungry, worn out, their clothes are poor, things like health and safety aren’t there, the equipment they are using is cheap, shoddy. Boycott it, but contact the local authority, contact the police – once enough people do that, then there will be a response.”

The migrant crisis exposes vulnerable people to criminals who promise jobs and opportunities, but later become debt-bonded or face physical threats and abuse. Modern slavery can be found in many forms, from sexual exploitation to organized begging. “This is the complexity of it all and that’s why the public needs to be more aware of it…People really need to open their eyes and understand what this criminality is – it is the sale of human beings. It is not just hard work.”

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Source: The Guardian