Friday links: Anniversary of the Modern Slavery Act and a survivor who doesn't want to go home

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

Is landmark UK law falling short in fight against modern slavery?

On Monday it will be three years since the Modern Slavery Act was enshrined into law. Thomson Reuters asks a range of people to comment on whether they think the Act has done enough to win the fight against modern slavery. The general consensus is it has definitely helped, but there is still a long way to go. 

The Act has done a lot to raise awareness. Unfortunately, in practice, we’re still waiting to really see many tangible outcomes from it yet.
— Kate Roberts, Human Trafficking Foundation.

‘I’m terrified to go back’: Albanian sex trafficking victim tells of despair as Home Office rejects asylum claim

The story of Sara, a survivor of sex trafficking who does not want to go back to her native country of Albania as she feels she will be unsafe. The Home Office has rejected her application for asylum because there are women's shelters in Albania. Having been abused by a teacher as a child and received no support from social services in Albania, Sara does not trust the system there and says she is no longer in touch with family members. She is also afraid her ex-fiancee, who trafficked her, will find out she is back. 

He sold me. I wished I was dead. The way he said it: ‘I’d rather your life than mine’. Now when I remember I just feel like I want to punch him. He wanted to save his life, so he sold mine. He owed them money so he sold me as his debt.
— Sara, trafficking survivor

International human trafficking operation saves 39 from sexual exploitation

A joint investigation including the UK's National Crime Agency and law enforcement from Spain and Nigeria has freed 39 women from sexual exploitation in Spain. All the women were Nigerian. They were living in caves in dirty and unsafe conditions and were forced into sex work to pay off 'debts' for smuggling them into Europe. 

This was a complex and extensive operation with deep-rooted organisation both in Nigeria and Spain. Eiye Confraternity was a highly organised crime gang, exploiting young woman for lengthy periods of time, keeping them in horrendous conditions where they knew there would be no escape.
— Tom Dowdall, NCA Deputy Director

A study by sustainability consultancy Sancroft and Tussell, a data provider of government procurement information, has found that only 58 of the government's top 100 suppliers have met the requirements stated under Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act and published a Modern Slavery Statement that covers all the areas stipulated under the act. 97 of them have published a statement, but only 12 have shared their targets on addressing and measuring the risk of modern slavery in their supply chain. 

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The last of our six #GiveUpSlavery challenges for Lent is here. This week we're asking people to learn the signs of modern slavery so they can spot them in their neighbourhood. You can find out more, and see all the previous challenges, on our Lent page. 

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 Thomas Martinsen on Unsplash