India is ‘Severe Risk Source Country’ for Modern-Day Slavery in UK, Says Report

Some of the top victim nationalities for labor exploitation in the United Kingdom are Eritrea, Slovakia, Albania, and India.


Indians working in the hospitality industry in the United Kingdom are at a potentially higher risk of becoming victims of modern-day slavery in the country, a report by UK’s Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) said on May 8.

The number of potential Indian adult victims is showing a more gradual increase, the report, titled “The Nature and Scale of Labor Exploitation across all Sectors within the United Kingdom,” added. GLAA intelligence shows that, where known, Indian workers are most commonly found in the hotel and restaurant sector.

India is ranked a “severe risk” source country from where modern-day slaves enter the United Kingdom, according to the British Standards Institution’s Trafficking and Supply Chain Slavery Patterns Index, the report said.

Some of the top victim nationalities for labor exploitation between 2015 and 2017 in Britain are Eritrea, Slovakia, Albania, United Kingdom, India, Sudan and China.

“The barbaric nature of modern slavery means it destroys the lives of its victims, which is why we introduced the world-leading Modern Slavery Act 2015 and increased the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority funding by £2.6m a year to help tackle modern slavery and wider labor exploitation,” Victoria Atkins, UK minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability, said  in a statement.

The United Kingdom is described as one of the main destinations of trafficked workers in Europe. Labor exploitation was recorded as the most frequent type of exploitation for both adults and minors in the country in 2016 and 2017.

“In the 12 months until March 2017, police in England and Wales recorded 2,255 modern slavery offences — far lower than the estimated picture of tens of thousands of offences,” the report said.

Victims tend to live in poor conditions without basic facilities like electricity, heating and water. They are threatened with loss of job if they find somewhere else to live. Some workers are further exploited by being charged a daily rate of transport to and from work, with wages taken directly from their bank account. Also, debt bondage is an increasing tactic used by criminals, where victims are forced to work off debts they have no control over.

In May 2017, the GLAA was given police-style powers and a remit to tackle exploitation across the entire UK labor market. During its first 12 months in operation, the GLAA arrested 107 people, identified 1,335 abused workers, recovered £94,000 for workers and identified £150,000 of withheld wages. It also launched 181 investigations, identified £231,000 of withheld holiday pay and inspected 245 businesses.

“In 2017, 5,145 potential victims of modern slavery were submitted to the National Referral Mechanism, a 35 per cent increase compared with 2016. Albanian, British and Vietnamese were the top reported nationalities in both years and the most frequent type of exploitation for both adults and minors was labor exploitation,” said the report.

A report by public watchdog National Audit Office released earlier revealed that 90 Indian citizens were victims of modern slavery during 2016 in the United Kingdom. India was among the top eight countries whose citizens were referred to UK authorities as being victims of slavery, according to the report.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *