The Abolition of Slavery in the UK: Fact or Fiction?
From before Roman times (year 1066), slavery was a common, accepted, legal practice in the UK with an estimated 10% of England’s population being slaves.
In light of the Slavery Abolition Act in 1833, one would expect slavery to be abolished completely. However, in 2007, a joint research team from the University of Hull and Anti-Slavery International published findings of extensive research to the presence of modern slavery in the UK. Although it’s been impossible for the research team to compile statistics about the extent of slavery in the UK, the research team has gathered evidence, modern slavery, such as severe economic exploitation, still exists in the UK.
Despite the fact slavery was banned legally throughout the entire world in 1981 (Mauritania being the last country to legally prohibit slavery) and most people expecting slavery to be absent in civilized countries, slavery can still be found everywhere in the world, making slavery an international issue of major concern.
In the UK, modern slavery consists for the most part of trafficking women and children, mainly from Eastern and Central Europe, into the UK for sexual and domestic labour and UK-based companies relying on supply chains using (child) slave labour.
According to Antislavery.org in 2012 5,000 people are estimated to having been trafficked, especially people who rely on low-skilled, low-paid and temporary labour such as in construction, food and cleaning industries.
The BBC, on its website, states some of the causes of modern slavery, such as poverty and population growth (more people in need of work) and a lack of enforcement of anti-slavery laws. According to freetheslaves.net changes in the world’s economy over the past 50 years have enabled slavery to return and grow. Three trends have contributed to the rise of slavery: the recent population explosion (the amount of people having tripled in the world); the social and...