Human Trafficking in the UK

Ashnah Samuel

Current Event

At the age of 24, Sophie Hayes was forced into a life of prostitution by a man she had known for five years prior, previously thinking of him as her boyfriend. She says that at first she was horrified by her circumstance but after a while she became numb to it. Sophie stated, "I just let go. To the point that I stopped caring. Because nothing I could do or say, no matter how many tears, how many screams, nothing would change the situation because I was too afraid to run." She went on to say that she couldn't run away or ask anyone for help, because he was simultaneously threatening her family, claiming he would take her younger brother. Sophie claimed "there was no boundary for him. All I was to him was money." After Sophie was eventually able to escape, she set up the Sophie Hayes Foundation in order to raise awareness about human trafficking and to support survivors of such incidents.

Where in the World is Human Trafficking Most Prevalent?

Human Trafficking is mostly happening in the countries of the Democratic Republic of Congo, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Iran (as stated by the U.S. State Department), but it is also a major issue in the UK.

Demographics of Victims

In 2011, there were almost 2000 potential victims of Human Trafficking in the UK. Most victims tend to appear vulnerable in some way. For example, children, the homeless, alcoholics, or even illegal immigrants are susceptible to being targeted.

Theme of Geography Associated with this Topic

Movement is largely associated with Human Trafficking because many of its victims are forced to be shipped around to unfamiliar areas of the world.

Laws in Action

Over 184 governments are taking action against Human Trafficking (see map below). In the UK, many different actions have been taken to prevent these types of incidents from occurring, protect its people from falling victim, and prosecute those who violate the laws set forth. The Center for Social Justice in particular, has started checking up on businesses to make sure their production and supply lines are free of forced labor and have begun training professionals to spot any signs of trafficking.

Public and Personal Opinions on the Issue

In general, the public feels as though the government is uninformed as to the scale of this problem. They feel that either the authorities are do not understand what is happening or if they do, are simply choosing to ignore the problem all together.

In my opinion, I feel as though the government is doing the best it can to control the problem. Human trafficking is obviously an important issue the government should be handling, so I feel that if they could do more to prevent incidents like Sophie Hayes', they would be.

Work Cited