The following article appeared in The Evening Standard
Britain is to spend £3 million to stop women being trafficked from Vietnam to work here in brothels, nail bars and cannabis factories, the Government announced today.
The money will help catch criminals organising the trade, as well as supporting victims and preventing others being lured into modern slavery.
It follows evidence that Vietnam, along with countries such as Albania and Nigeria, is one of the top sources of overseas trafficking victims forced into slavery in this country. The spending was announced as the Home Office published a new report which identifies 17 different types of modern slavery in the UK, with disturbing details of how individual victims suffer.
They include one case in which a 13-year-old Romanian girl was trafficked into Britain by criminals, including her father, to carry out forced begging.
She spent seven hours a day on the streets and was then beaten and forced to hand over the money she raised, while also being used as a domestic slave by her abusers. In another case involving a trafficking victim, a London man arranged for a 14-year-old girl from a Lincolnshire care home to be driven to the capital to be sexually abused by him.
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Other children trafficked for sexual exploitation were under 13. Trafficking from Vietnam, which accounted for 451 of the 3,805 slavery victims identified in the UK last year, remains a prime concern and prompted the decision to spend taxpayers’ money there.
Home Office minister Sarah Newton said: “No matter what we do to eradicate the sickening and inhuman crimes associated with modern slavery here in the UK, true success can only be achieved by taking the fight onto the global stage.
“We will be investing £3 million to tackle the issue in Vietnam, where so many victims are trafficked with the promise of a better life, only to find themselves enslaved.” The UK is spending a total of £33.5 million fighting slavery in “high-risk” overseas nations. Other countries where slavery victims come from include China, Ghana, Nepal and Pakistan.