The UK is a destination for men and women from Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East often seeking better livelihood opportunities. The latest government statistics derived from the UK National Referral Mechanism in 2014 reveal 2,340 potential victims of trafficking from 96 countries, of whom 61% were female. The majority of adults classified as victims of sexual exploitation and the largest proportion of victims was from Albania. In 2015, the most reported venues/industries for sex trafficking included commercial-front brothels, hotel/motel-based trafficking, online advertisements with unknown locations, residential brothels, and street-based sex trafficking. Bella was living in Albania when her marriage failed and she became estranged from her family. During the financial crisis beginning in 2008 Bella’s business began to struggle, so she began to look for work. Not originally planning to go abroad, Bella was offered an opportunity to work in a restaurant in Belgium. However, when she went to go and see the work she would be doing, she was forced in to a lorry and her documents were taken off her. The lorry took Bella to the UK where she was forced into sexual exploitation. She was able to seize a window of opportunity one day and ran for two hours to freedom. She was taken by police to Rahab Adoratrices, a charity founded in 2009 to care for women affected by human trafficking for sexual exploitation.
There are an estimated 518,000 people living in modern slavery in Egypt, 465,000 in Sudan and an estimated 451,000 in Eritrea (GSI 2018). Since 2006 tens of thousands of Eritreans fleeing widespread human rights abuses and destitution have ended up in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Until 2010, they passed through Sinai voluntarily and generally without any problems and crossed in to Israel. However, since then, Sudanese traffickers have kidnapped Eritreans in eastern Sudan and sold them to Egyptian traffickers in Sinai who have subjected at least hundreds to violence in order to extort large sums of money from their relatives. Yonas* was kidnapped by traffickers traffickers near Sudan’s Shagarab refugee camp in March 2012. These traffickers handed him over to Egyptian traffickers in southern Egypt, who held him in Sinai with 24 other men and eight women for six weeks.