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.
Ida was wanting to provide for her family when she was offered an opportunity to work in the UK. Her parents borrowed the money for her to work in an office or in a restaurant. However, Ida was taken with 11 other people in a van and upon arriving in the UK was told that she would have to provide sexual services to pay off her debt. Ida was able to escape one day when the van she was being transported in broke down.
All young girls have dreams don’t they? I worked hard at school so that when I grew up I could get a good job and help my parents. Buy them all the things they never had. The things they needed. And I could have a different life, a better life.
Things were hard at home but we had neighbours whose children were sending money back from England. So when someone my uncle knew said that he could get me in an office of a restaurant. My parents said yes, of course. There was a price, they had to borrow the money.
There were 12 of us in a van. For 2 or maybe 3 days. We ran out of water long before we stopped. There was a baby crying and they said to the mother, we’ll throw you both in the sea. I just prayed for it to be over. They said, your parents owe us a lot of money, and you’ll work hard to pay it back. If you don’t, we will kill them. They take my passport and then it started. 12, 15 men, every day.
I got ill but still always the men, they come. Then one day they are moving 3 of us in a van and it broke down. They are walking us along the street and I just ran. Thy caught me but I fell to the ground and I started screaming. And people came to help. And then someone called the police. They arranged for me to go to a refuges that helps trafficked women. I’m beginning to get better. My English is getting better, and I’m helping some of the other girls. Most of all, we are safe. But I know that there are others still trapped like I was. And other girls in the same situation can be helped too. Given hope.
Narrative courtesy of Comic Relief