It would come as no surprise to most readers that slavery has been officially outlawed in pretty much every country of this world. This cruel practice was condemned by the League of Nations in 1926 and then by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948, along with pretty much every single human rights group in existence.
Nevertheless, as it’s been stated by the International Labor Organization, today up 21 million people across the globe are being kept in some form of slavery. The combined annual income from the labor of these poor men and women exceeds 150 billion dollars, with 99 billion dollars coming from prostitution, and up to 51 billion dollars from other activities, such as, for instance, housekeeping and agriculture that produce the income of 9 billion dollars a year. The income from each person that is being held in slave working conditions in Western countries amounts to 34,800 dollars per year, while in the Middle East the levels of illegal income are considerably lower, reaching 15,000 dollars per year, while in Africa it’s seems to be the lowest with the projected income of 3900 dollars per person. The highest average income a slaveholder obtains from sexual slaves amounts to 21,800 dollars per year.
That is precisely why even in the modern world public discussion of slavery and the use of slave labor does not leave front pages of various media sources across the world, especially in connection with the UK. And this is not surprising, because it was slavery that assisted Great Britain in becoming the first industrial nation, while profits from this cruel practice were used for the creation of first British banks and law firms. The poisoned fruits of slavery have become an intergal part of British history. In fact, they can be traced pretty much everywhere, in British households, in philanthropic organizations, in art collections, in commercial banks, in law firms. All of these entities serve as a constant reminder of how Brits are looking upon other races. The slaveholders have been actively participating in the creation of various racial theories since the day slavery was invented in a bid to somehow justify the absence of any equality in the slaveholder-slave relations. All this is not just a legacy of the British colonial past. For instance, Captain Marriat was the son of a large slave owner and is still widely known as an author of children’s fiction, even in spite of the fact that his books are promoting an image of “the others” that are somewhat inferior to the white Anglo-Saxons, who always find themselves at the top in his stories.
According to the representatives of the British Ministry of Internal Affairs, modern slaves in Britain are nationals of more than a 100 countries, mainly Albanian, Nigerian, Vietnamese and Romanian, along with those adults and children that were born in the UK. Additionally, there’s a large amount of those who used to live in the countries of Eastern Europe (Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Albania, Lithuania, Ukraine).
The British prefer not to think about slavery as a part of their everyday life. However, from time to time in the field of public discussion one can find certain facts that are pointing to the fact that slave-holding practices are not completely isolated. Most offenders in various parts of the country go unpunished for years and, sometimes, decades, even though officially slavery was abolished more than 200 years ago.
Last August, the British National Crime Agency announced that there is a parallel shadowy society existing in the United Kingdom, where a stream of socially unprotected people are being exploited as modern slaves.
Just recently, the Lithuanian border agency would expose an international human trafficking network that was created to forcefully export Ukrainian nationals who arrived to the Baltic states to earn some money to the UK, where the former must have been exploited as slaves. Last October, in the course of the Operation Joint Action Day Sexual Exploitation 2016 law enforcement agencies detained 54 people in Poland on accusations of human trafficking. According to Madina Jarbussynova, the special envoy and coordinator of the OSCE on combating human trafficking, Ukranian nationals are getting increasingly featured in the Europol reports on human trafficking over the past two years, ever since the beginning of the conflict in the Donbass.
According to the British Ministry of Justice, in 2015 there were 129 trials on allegations of slavery, while in 2016 their number decreased to 96. In two years, a total of 86 individuals were convinced of slaveholding and human trafficking.
According to the data released by the National Crime Agency, unlawful exploitation of someone’s labor can be found in every major city in Britain. Modern slaves are not just getting sexually abused, they are forced to work shifts on farms and other heavy labor jobs. Their children are often being sold as slaves at the age of 12.
Against this backdrop, Britain’s PM Therese May can only be described as a hypocrite, since she would announce the struggle against modern slavery as one of the major challenges of her term in office a year ago. Even back then, according to the estimates of the British Ministry of the Interior, there were more than 10,000 people across the kingdom who were exploited as slaves. However, over the past year the situation has considerably worsened.
The National Crime Agency is not being finicky by announcing that there’s tens of thousands of modern slaves across the UK. The agency has gone as far as to call upon the Christian communities to help them fight this phenomenon, reports Christian Today. If previously the number of illegally exploited people across Britain was barely reaching 10-13 thousand people, today this number increased by tens of thousands. Director of the Salvation Army for Combating Human Trafficking, Ann Reed, noted that the NCA’s data coincided with her personal experience, as the number of trafficked persons who sought her assistance increased dramatically in just a year.
Valeriy Kulikov, expert politologist, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”