The United Kingdom (UK) is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children who are subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour, including domestic servitude. Most foreign trafficking victims come from Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe. According to 2013 government data, the top five countries of origin for adult trafficking victims are Albania, Nigeria, Vietnam, Poland, and Romania. Inclusive of children, the top countries of origin are Albania, Nigeria, Vietnam, Romania, and the UK. UK men continue to be subjected to forced labour within the UK and in other countries in Europe. UK children are increasingly subjected to sex trafficking within the country.
Authorities report that victims continue to be forced into criminal behaviour. Unaccompanied migrant children in the UK continued to represent a group vulnerable to trafficking. Migrant workers in the UK are subjected to forced labour in agriculture, construction, food processing, domestic service, nail salons, food services, and on fishing boats. Domestic workers, primarily women, and including those in diplomatic households, are particularly vulnerable to trafficking and abuse. Children and men, mostly from Vietnam and China, continue to be forced to work on cannabis farms.
The UK is rated as a Tier 1 Country by the US Department of State’s 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report indicating that the Government of the United Kingdom fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.
Two LIttle Girls in the United Kingdom
Two Little Girls has been used in a wide variety of ways in the United Kingdom to raise awareness about sex trafficking.
Key UK Achievements:
- The English version of Two Little Girls has been watched over 60,000 worldwide on YouTube
- Eaves Housing for Women, Amnesty International, Anti-Slavery International, Greenwich University, Scotland Yard, the NSPCC, HERA UK, ECPAT UK and Autograph have used the Two Little Girls film during discussions on trafficking.
- The children’s charity ECPAT UK (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes) uses the Two Little Girls film in their training of a range of professionals as well as in school workshops. ECPAT UK has also shown it to people requesting more information on trafficking, including ECPAT UK’s own Youth Group which includes girls who have been trafficked to the UK as children. ECPAT UK estimate 100 young people aged 12 years old and above have seen the film through approximately 10 workshops.
- The TLG film was short-listed for a new Media Award that honours work relating to slavery and trafficking of human beings. TLG shared the shortlist with C4’s ‘I Am Slave,’ and the BBC’s ‘Stolen,’ both big budget dramas. The award ceremony was held at the House of Lords where the film was praised for its accessibility to both potential victims and the public as well as for its preventative value.
- The Two Little Girls film has been included in the UK Department of Health’s e-learning module on identifying and supporting victims of human trafficking aimed at healthcare professionals.
- The Two Little Girls film accompanied Autograph’s DANA POPA photographic exhibition in Dublin and the USA.
- The Immigrant Council of Europe has distributed the TLG DVD to 11 Senators, the 50 organisation members of the Turn Off the Red Light Alliance, and many other Irish civil society organisations.
- The TLG team presented both ‘Two Little Girls’ and sister animation ‘A Dangerous Journey’ at the Greenwich University Sexual Health Conference in May 2012 with approximately 120 sexual health workers and sexual health rights campaigners in the audience.
- In June 2012 the UK team presented the TLG campaign and screened the film to 30 employees of Plan UK, an international charity working to alleviate child poverty and promote children’s rights.
- The TLG film was screened as part of a one-day practitioner conference run by Unchosen UK and the Red Cross. The conference was held on 24th April at the London School of Economics and attended by approximately 40 professionals.
- HERA (Her Equality, Rights and Autonomy) used the TLG film in their training session for mentors working with victims of trafficking. The film was used to sensitize the mentors to the issue of human trafficking.
- On the 19th November 2013, TLG Executive Producer and Campaign Manager Ruth Beni was asked to speak at the Guardian 3-day conference ‘Exile Media’ about the TLG campaign and the other films produced as part of the ‘Need to Know’ Campaign. Eva Goes to Foreign, Two Little Girls and the newly produced Roma film ‘Emi and Ani’ were screened. 70 people participated in the event mainly made up of journalists and representatives of grant-giving organisations.
- The TLG film is shown regularly on the Community Channel. The Community Channel is available to 16.5 million digital households in the UK.
- The TLG campaign was reported by Al-Jazeera’s English News Channel on 20 May 2013. The 2.47 minute report was shown repeatedly throughout the day and included a clip of the TLG film and an interview with Ruth Beni. The report is now on youtube with 3,700 hits to date.
- The TLG campaign was featured in the first edition of Rookie Magazine, a free magazine produced in Birmingham launched in July 2011.