The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) has published a new report (http://www.gla.gov.uk/whats-new/latest-press-releases/slavery-and-exploitation-laid-bare-in-new-glaa-report-5518/) updating their original 2016 report that looks at the risks, threats and general trends identified during 2017 and forward into 2018.
Key findings include:
- Victims of exploitation are most commonly Vietnamese, Albanian and British with British victims increasing by 362%.
- Forced labour accounts for approximately 30% of exploitation with the majority of victims being males from Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
- “Debt bondage” is an increasing tactic used by criminals where victims are forced to work off debts that they have no control over.
- Social media is increasingly being used to recruit workers who are then exploited with some arriving in the UK for non-existent work.
- Many victims live in poor conditions without basic facilities like electricity, heating or water.
- Some workers are being charged a daily rate for transport to and from work with wages taken directly from their bank account.
- In the 12 months until March 2017, police in England and Wales recorded 2,255 modern slavery offences, far less than the estimated of tens of thousands of offences.
David Sorensen, Partner at Morrish Solicitors, says “what a distressing picture this is with the police recording 2,255 slavery offences within one year. How many things go unreported and go without investigation? It is shameful for the UK to have slavery in 2018. Much more resource and investigation, prosecution and sentencing needs to happen”.