Slavery: it is not history; it is closer than you think

The term ‘history’ is misleading in this case; people mistakenly believe slavery is confined to the annals of history. It is not. It has followed us into the 21st century. Modern slavery is very much present, hidden, here and worryingly local. Many people from your local are being enslaved and neglected.

‘My story, my dignity’ words from a survivor of human trafficking. She prefers to remain unknown, but her story influenced me, during this interview. She was sold, abused and maltreated throughout her entire childhood. She worked in a car wash for over 11 hours with little pay, a pay that failed to feed her properly and give her a shelter. After all, a good pay wouldn’t even make a difference since she had no choice but to reside in a squalid accommodation.  Her ‘home’ was simply a shipping container. 

Mirror investigators working with the anti-slavery watchdog found evidence to suggest thousands of mainly Eastern European people, could be trapped working on forecourts and car parks. Unable to speak English, they are under this yoke, a bondage that is uneasily untainted. 

As an aspiring journalist, I love to communicate with new people and explore the many issues that occur in my local area. But this one caught me off-guard! I had the great opportunity to interview Sister Sheila Barrett, a lovely lady who took the bold step to come out and form an organization who investigates and who work to raise awareness about human trafficking, oppression, and the enslavement of people, that exists in our own community. “Appalling is the idea that we still have to cover such topic”-she declared and I absolutely agree! Such topics shouldn’t be covered! 2017 humans are still maltreated and sold.

However, we can all agree that this topic is always overlooked by the vast majority of the western world; some of us are still unaware, perhaps. The media and the government seem apathetic about such horrendous topic. The media relies upon strong stories and eye-catching images when writing about modern slavery. Raising awareness of the issues and the prevalence of modern slavery is essential, but so often, as survivors of slavery tell us, the images and language used to tell these stories do not reflect them accurately or in a dignified way. But, we can’t deny that weall play a role in promoting slavery. We love cheaper clothing, phones and cheap prices when we attend to the nail shops. All this is because of us! Greedy and narrow minded people who believe this world is blissful! The fact that we have food on our table, without any sweat, doesn’t mean that others have a meal too.

Just imagine being sold for less than 50£, taken from your home, no rights, no choice, without a name.

It’s just not history, it’s happening now..

It’s closer than you think…

Modern slavery is still a terrible, pernicious presence-even in Croydon" 

Talk to your local MP or take part in pressure groups who cover such issue.

Shemaiah fenteng-Coloma school