According to The Guardian and BBC, there’s been a surge of Albanian children being trafficked into the UK in recent years. Five years ago, Albania wasn’t on the radar at all – Vietnamese women and children represented the largest group of international victims in the UK. But it appears traffickers have a new strategy.
- Large numbers of Albanians have arrived in the UK on trucks via the Channel ports
- In addition to sexual exploitation, child victims are forced into domestic servitude and begging
- They’ve also been found to work on cannabis farms, construction sites, and in nail salons
…deep-seated attitudes in Albanian society towards women contribute to the problem. This is a male-dominated culture, where young women in poorer, rural areas are vulnerable to domestic violence and are looking for a means of escape. It makes them easy prey for the traffickers.
Some of the victims don’t even know what country they’ve been trafficked to, making it difficult for them to reach out for help.
Read the full article by The Guardian here.
Read victim testimonies via BBC here.
- Many victims are recruited via false marriages and scam employment offers. Those of us who have never experienced poverty don’t understand how enticing these would be to someone in a desperate position.
- It is estimated that there are about 13,000 people in slavery in the UK. But because agencies in different regions collect data differently, it’s difficult to know exact numbers. This is why collaboration between service providers and police across all jurisdictions is so important.
- One of the precursors to trafficking can be violence in the home. Domestic abuse makes children more likely to accept the promises of anyone who will get them out of their home situation. Curbing child abuse is a preventative measure countries must take in order to help traffic-proof their most vulnerable citizens.