Friday links: Arrests in Cleveland, #InvisiblePeople, and how our lifestyles are fuelling slavery

Every Friday we share the latest news on modern slavery and human trafficking in the UK. Keep up to date by following us on twitter (@theclewer) or Facebook, where we will share the article each week, or sign up to our monthly newsletter

Eight men arrested in Cleveland Police operation into human trafficking

Widespread reporting this week about raids conducted in Teesside and South Yorkshire. More than 150 police officers were involved, and nine men were arrested as a result. The Cleveland Police said the force received intelligence that young women were being trafficked within the Cleveland force area over a number of months. ITV and the BBC both reported the story. 

To those who traffic in human beings, in human lives, who seek to gain from fear or weakness, our message is unequivocal; we are strong, we are determined and we will bring you to justice.
— Assistant Chief Constable Jason Harwin

Human trafficking trial: Teenager 'sold' by man he worked for

At an ongoing trial in Glasgow an alleged victim of modern slavery is giving evidence of his exploitation. His heartbreaking testimony includes how he was offered work as a homeless teenager in the 90s, but he was paid little to nothing, 'sold' to another man, and beaten when he tried to escape. 

You can’t do anything because you are apparently owned. I told a few people, but they did not believe me. They thought it was a made-up fantasy.
— James Keith

Shedding light on the Invisible People trapped in modern slavery

Rory Carnegie, an award-winning photographer, was commissioned by the National Crime Agency to create an exhibition of photographs of modern slavery. The resulting photographs are now touring the country in an exhibition called Invisible People. The National Crime Agency are releasing each destination on their twitter account, but they have announced that they will definitely be taking in Bristol, Belfast, Cardiff, Lincoln, and London. The NCA have also been in the news after their director Will Kerr suggested that our eagerness to pay less for our goods and services, is at the expense of those in exploitation, who as a result are forgotten. 

I wanted to show that the issue is much more insidious. These victims might not be living in chains, but they are living amongst us.
— Rory Carnegie

Untrustworthy memories make it hard to shop ethically

An interesting study from Ohio State University suggests that even when people are told that the goods they are buying were made unethically, they do not factor that into their decisions, not because they don't care, but because they forget. The research team suggests this is because revelations of unethical behaviour, and how we might be furthering it with our purchases, make us uncomfortable, so we willingly forget them. 

In fact, consumers may do their best to remain ignorant about whether a product is ethical or not, simply to avoid the anguish they would experience if they were to find out.

That's it from us this week. Keep up to date with us the rest of the week by following us on twitter (@theclewer) or Facebook, where we will share the article each week, or sign up to our monthly newsletter.

Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash