Female Victims of Human Trafficking in UK Not Receiving Appropriate Protection

25 Feb

It’s easy to think of extreme injustices against women (and children, and men) as being something that happens in underdeveloped countries, even if it is to produce goods, provide services or extract raw materials exclusively for the benefit of people in rich countries. But researchers at Cambridge University have just published a report about women who have been trafficked into crime in the UK. The criminal justice system punishes them, but it doesn’t yet appear to give all of them the protection to which they are entitled as victims of human trafficking. In addition to the abuse and exploitation the women receive at the hands of criminals, they can face continued abuse following their experiences in the UK justice system. Their experiences of going through the UK courts and other institutions can also be extremely harrowing.

Some of the victims were trafficked into the UK with the intention that they would be exploited. Others were not trafficked, but were forced into carrying out criminal activities once they were in the UK. But only a fraction were referred for appropriate assistance. While about half were coerced into prostitution, others were involved in drug crimes and robbery and some were engaged in forced domestic labor. Many of the victims were denied help with things as basic as understanding English speech and documents relating to their prosecution and sentencing.

You can download the entire report from the Cambridge Institute of Criminology.

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