New estimates suggest that human trafficking is on the rise in the UK
New government estimates has shown that human trafficking is on the rise in the UK, but there are no official figures to give a more complete picture of the issue.
The estimates come from the Inter-Departmental Ministerial Group on human trafficking. The report says that there was a potential 946 victims of human trafficking in 2011, 234 of which could have been children. This estimate is a large increase on 2010’s figure of 710.
The report recommended better coordination with foreign governments as a way to reduce the amount of human trafficking offences.
Estimates have to be relied upon because the actual size of the problem is difficult to assign an exact figure to. This is mainly because many victims are not aware they are being trafficked until it is too late, and police sometimes have a hard time in identifying instances of the crime.
Paul Donahoe, from Anti-Slavery International, said that victims are often convinced that they are being brought to the UK to gain legitimate work.
Donahoe went on to say that not enough is being done to stop the top-level criminals. Speaking to news organisation RT, he said, “There is a lack of prosecutions and the sentences are too short. The government could also confiscate the assets of traffickers”.
The group has highlighted that the main culprits are criminal organisations from Nigeria, Vietnam, and Romania. People are often trafficked in to the UK by the gangs, and then sold on for prostitution or slave labour.