The United Kingdom remains a significant destination and, to a lesser extent, transit country for women, men and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation. Migrant workers are trafficked to the UK for forced labour in agriculture, construction, food processing and domestic servitude. The UK National Crime Agency estimates 3,309 potential victims of human trafficking came into contact with the State or an NGO in 2014. The latest government statistics derived from the UK National Referral Mechanism in 2014 reveal 2,340 potential victims of trafficking from 96 countries of origin, of whom 61 percent were female and 29 percent were children. Of those identified through the NRM, the majority were adults classified as victims of sexual exploitation followed by adults exploited in the domestic service sector and other types of labour exploitation. The largest proportion of victims was from Albania, followed by Nigeria, Vietnam, Romania and Slovakia.
Mitos travelled from the Philippines to work as a maid abroad. Her employers took her passport and refused to allow her to leave, forcing her to travel to the UK. Upon arrival Mitos was forced to be at her employers call 24 hours a day, often working on only 2 hours sleep. She was verbally abused and prevented from leaving the house at any time. Mitos lived like this for 3 years before she was able to escape.
If I never argued with them, still I would be their slave.
My job was to take care of them, take care of the house, take care of all their needs.
They never allowed me to go outside. When I go outside, I have to be with them, and when they go outside they have to lock me inside the house.
I don’t have any privacy. I sleep in the living room. No bathroom to take my shower. My things are all placed in the toilet.
Every day, 24 hours on call. No day off. No freedom.
They always verbally abused me calling me names, stupid, animal, garbage. I respected the family where I am working but they never showed me respsect.
Even the food, sometimes they eat, and they scrap foods from their plates and not from the serving plate.
I feel as if I’m flying up on air like before I was feeling like I was carrying a heavy heavy load on me. Now that I’m free I feel very very happy. Recovering from emotional and mental abuse is very difficult. It doesn’t matter how many times I forget, it always pops up in my mind.
Although how much I miss my family, although how much I miss my daughter, going back is not my priority now, because as the breadwinner of the family I have to work.
My advice to anybody working as a housemaid, being abused, just continue to be brave. Think of your family. Don’t do anything bad and wait for the time you are ready to fight for your rights.
Courtesy of BBC News