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2014 (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. Of those identified through the NRM, the majority were adults classified as victims of sexual exploitation followed by adults exploited in the domestic service sector and other types of labour exploitation. The largest proportion of victims was from Albania, followed by Nigeria, Vietnam, Romania and Slovakia.

This survivor of modern slavery tells the Salvation Army of how she travelled from Sierra Leone to the UK after being promised a better education. Instead, she was trafficked into domestic servitude. This survivor was made to do all the housework, denied any privacy and never received any wages for her work. It was only when one of her employer’s children’s teachers called the police that this survivor was able to escape.

I came from another country, I came from Sierra Leone. When I came to the UK, things changed. They promised that the minute I came to the UK I would start at a college but they never did all those things. My stepmum, she wanted me to do all the work at home, cleaning, washing dishes, cooking all the food for the boys. She would not even give me a little bit of time on my own. ‘Don’t sit down, come on do this’. She doesn’t even want me to mingle with people because even if someone call me on the phone, I’m talking to someone on the phone she will be pacing around up and down.

Everyday things just getting worse and worse, worse, worse. They are doing the same things. So it was not really easy for me. They don’t pay me any money. Since I was living with them, they never pay even £5. I don’t have money on my own. I say well you have to allow me to do something on my own. You can’t take me to the UK and try to destroy my future.

I’m taking the boys to school, one of their teachers was explaining it’s too difficult for me alone, I’m the one who is feeding them doing everything for them. Then she asked me ‘why are you not going to the college? You not want to attend any college?’ I say ‘I want to but they don’t give me chance’. I explained to her everything that is going on, I swear. So they called some police they go to help me out of the place. So that’s how I am able to do something for myself.

Courtesy of The Lily Trust

*Name given