Society Today – May meeting

Slavery in England Today.
Gill Brown gave a very clear presentation of this often overlooked social crime.  Trafficking is one of the major forms it takes: individuals trapped in the UK or imported from the East and then imprisoned, sometimes in private houses or camps and exploited.  It is slave labour with virtually no pay and victims prevented from leaving their prison – secrecy is all.  Thirteen thousand or more victims in many parts of the country: no documents, long hours of work, poor food, poor hygiene, no social contact or private life.  They risk sexual exploitation and physical assault – all this despite existing Acts of Parliament specifically passed to put an end to this slavery.  Slaves are too frightened to report this abuse to the police and the numbers of victims are rising.  Escapees are often caught again and criminals, if caught, go to prison.  MPs have, in some cases, spoken out against this appalling situation, being aware of the dreadful conditions and of the shackles of the debt which the victims of debt cannot afford to pay back to the gang-masters.  We must not forget the particular plight of children with no proper home and no schooling.  Our group decided that the only hope for effective action to end this scandal would be our personal protest, speaking to other good people and to the police, the courts, local councils and to national bodies competent to take on the duty of cleaning up this wretched and shameful position.  We then should support plans to provide accommodation, health care and education for the victims.  A national, practical campaign is really needed.  Our next meeting is on June 15: Topic to be announced.  Tom Gilmore.