They call it modern slavery, a thriving crime industry, a scourge in the UK compounded by Covid-19.
There is talk of abuse in the job market world up to sexual exploitation.
According to a research led by Euronews London, in the year 2019 alone 10,600 alleged slaves were identified with growth rate of more than 50% compared to 2018.
In the crosshairs of these new bosses, under the blackmail of the corporals, they are often irregular immigrants who cannot get a job in the light of the sun.
Vulnerable British citizens are also targeted, especially children from disadvantaged backgrounds, to be turned into drug gangs in the so-called “county lines” trafficking.
Hestia, the charitable organization present on site says: “The unleashed crisis of Covid-19 is likely to aggravate this situation, considering that the entrepreneurs who will reaffirm less money for wages.”
Britain has stepped up agreements to tackle these slavery, but criticism is dominant in the new law introduced in 2015, the Modern Slavery Act, which still remains too unenforced.
Austerity policies have weakened victim support and prevention work, multiplied and vulnerable to exploitative use.
The cut to public services hinder efforts to prevent exploitation and limit resources to investigate treatment cases.
The pandemic is severely testing the economy of the countries. The appeal to governments is not to forget the last, the most fragile, even in this difficult moment.
EMMANUELE DI LEO