There are an estimated 136,000 people living on conditions of modern slavery in the United Kingdom (Global Slavery Index 2018). According to the 2017 annual figures provided by the National Crime Agency, 5, 145 potential victims of modern slavery were referred through the National Referral Mechanism in 2017, of whom 2,454 were female, 2688 were male and 3 were transgender, with 41% of all referrals being children at the time of exploitation. People are subjected to slavery in the UK in the form of domestic servitude, labour exploitation, organ harvesting and sexual exploitation, with the largest number of potential victims originating from Albania, China, Vietnam and Nigeria. This data however does not consider the unknown numbers of victims that are not reported.
Rukmini was born in a village in India. When she was 18, she moved to Mumbai to find a job as a domestic worker and then came to London with the family she was working for. Upon arrival in London she was forced to work long hours with no days off. Rukmini wants to look for a new job and continue to learn English.
I had a difficult time. I managed really bad because I was crying and crying.
I am working every day twenty-two hours, no day off, no Sunday, no Monday.
Sometimes I got to once a month a country house and clean the country house, big bungalow, I think 19 bedrooms. I clean everything. I look after the garden, two horses, two ponies there. I look after everything. I come back, it’s sometimes very bad. I’m very tired but how can I though?
When I come into our group Justice for Domestic Workers, I am very happy.
I’ve never seen my passport because the employer took my passport.
I am alone, only my family, only my sister, only one sister is there. That is why I help my sister’s daughter. Giving to education, everything.
Narrative provided by Anti-Slavery International.
Original narrative can be found here