Friday links: Homeless being enslaved, Airbnb to fight 'pop-up brothels' and arrests in Derby

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

Exposed: Hundreds Of Homeless Slaves Recruited on British Streets

Buzzfeed investigates trafficking gangs preying on homeless people. Through the course of the investigation they identify trafficking 'hot spots' in the UK, hear the stories of several survivors who were targeted because of their homelessness, and see whether police forces are keeping track of how big the problem has grown. 

The investigation reveals how trafficking gangs – emboldened by the government’s failings – are preying in growing numbers on Britain’s swelling homeless population in plain sight of the authorities. As well as migrants smuggled in from abroad, the victims include British citizens, snatched from the streets in broad daylight.

Airbnb promises crackdown on 'pop-up brothels' in its rental properties

'Pop-up brothels' hit the news earlier in the year when the Bishop of Derby, and Chair of The Clewer Initiative, Bishop Alastair Redfern, spoke to the Derby Telegraph about the pernicious nature of the problem. Now Airbnb are pledging to put in place safeguards to make sure that the properties hosted on their service are not used as brothels. They will be asking for help from an anti-trafficking charity to train employees as well as working with the police to identify signs of slavery.

We’re taking a modern approach to combating modern slavery by leveraging the innovation of the sharing economy to better spot and stop potential exploitation ahead of time
— Nick Shapiro, Global Head of Trust and Risk Management at Airbnb

Five arrested in Derby and Latvia AND Construction slave labour ring smashed in East London

Two major operations into modern slavery this week: five people were arrested as part of a joint operation in Derby and Latvia, while in East London one man was arrested and ten people were taken to a reception centre, including two teenage boys. In East London officers raided five residential properties - in one they found 23 people living there, including six women and two young children. Police in Latvia found a man living in a shack in the back garden of one of the houses they raided. 

One man, who we believe to be a victim, was found living in the most appalling conditions I have seen in my career and I am pleased that he is now receiving the help he needs.
— Det Ch Insp Rick Alton, Derbyshire Constabulary

You are what you eat: week two of the #Giveupslavery challenge

Our #GiveUpSlavery challenge continues this week on the theme of modern slavery in agriculture. 'You are what you eat' asks us how we decide where to buy our food from, and whether we consider how ethically produced it is. Unfortunately there's no perfect way of knowing whether the food we're eating is ethical (unless we've grown it ourselves!), but showing large retailers that we care about their ethics, and raising awareness of the issue can only help. 

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 Endup lepcha on Unsplash