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2013 (Narrative date)

The UK National Crime Agency estimates 3,309 potential victims of human trafficking came into contact with the State or an NGO in 2014. The latest government statistics derived from the UK National Referral Mechanism in 2014 reveal 2,340 potential victims of trafficking from 96 countries of origin, of whom 61 percent were female and 29 percent were children. There are strong indicators that recently labor trafficking of Hungarian men in Western Europe has intensified in agriculture, construction, and factories.

Nick was kept prisoner and beaten in the UK, where he was made to work a variety of jobs but never paid. Eventually he escaped and reported his situation to the police.

I am a Hungarian and was experiencing hard times. My wife had left me and I lost custody of my children. I had to get work to get my family back.

I was offered a job in the UK by a man who travelled with me and three other men by car. We arrived in North East England. I was kept prisoner in rented property by this man. All our personal documents were taken, and we were closely watched. We weren’t allowed out unaccompanied. Several times we were physically assaulted. I felt suicidal.

I was taken to work in a pizzeria as a kitchen porter and later at a chicken factory. I received no payment for any of this work.  The traffickers took my money. I was given just enough food not to starve. This carried on for at least 6 months.

I tried to escape, but it wasn’t easy, as I was watched all the time. Later I changed my tactics – I got the traffickers to trust me more. I was then told I must work on a building site. There was an opportunity to escape. I did. I went to the police, although I was afraid I’d be sent home. They helped me. I was then placed in the City Hearts shelter in Liverpool. Now I am improving my English and looking forward to a better life than ever before.

As told to the Human Trafficking Foundation