The Slave - a novel by Andrew Sanger 

 

 

 


Home
......
About
Andrew Sanger
......
Comment
and
reviews
......
Afterword:
The true story

......
Read free:
Chapters 1 & 2

......

BUY NOW

eBook
Price: £1.95 / $2.96
ISBN: 9780955820120

 Kindle UK  

 Kindle US  

 Other formats 

Paperback
List price: £8.99 / $12.95
ISBN: 9780955820113

 Amazon UK  

 Amazon US  

 Selected     
 Bookshops  

......

Need a Kindle?
......


 

  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
  ^
......
To top
 

Afterword

The true story – how the anti-prostitution campaign harms trafficked women
 

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16

1. The campaign to make it a crime to pay for sex

The Slave – the fictional story of Neil Chapman, Bernard Kassin and Liliana Petreanu – is set in London, England, in autumn 2008. The Labour Party was in Government, and had been since 1997. Harriet Harman, Leader of the House of Commons, Minister for Women and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, had been campaigning to make it illegal to pay for sex, even with a consenting adult.
    This idea had been promoted by women’s groups for several years. Ms Harman’s key supporters were the Labour MPs Dennis MacShane, Fiona Mactaggart and Barbara Follett.
    On 17 July 2007, in the House of Commons, Ms Harman expressed her concern about human trafficking, and read out some local newspaper small ads for foreign prostitutes, just like those that tempt Neil. Ms Harman said, “We need to think of the demand side of the problem… the men, the fathers, the sons, the brothers, the husbands who are reading those ads and who are fuelling the demand side of global sexual exploitation of women.” She seemed to imply that the prostitutes’ clients were at fault rather than traffickers.
    On 20 December 2007, on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Ms Harman again said that the Government must “tackle the demand side” of prostitution, “as they've done in Sweden.” The Government set up a review to study the subject, but seems to have decided its conclusions at the outset: answering a question in Parliament on 7 February 2008, Barbara Follett again referred to “tackling the demand side,” and on 20 June 2008 Ms Follett said, “Men who pay for sex fuel the evil trade of sex trafficking.”
    The Government commissioned an Ipsos-Mori poll in summer 2008 to demonstrate public support for plans to criminalise “men who pay for sex”. The results, released September 2008, showed 58% would support making it illegal to pay for sex “if it would help reduce the numbers of women and children being trafficked into the UK for sexual exploitation.” The 58% was then much quoted without the proviso. That criminalising prostitutes’ clients would prevent trafficking was a cornerstone of Ms Harman’s argument. After publication of the poll figures, she even claimed, “We know that paying for sex fuels the demand for trafficked women and children.” The new crime was intended to form part of the Policing and Crime Bill, then being drafted.
     Making it completely illegal to pay for sex was controversial, and widely discussed in the UK media in 2008. Had this become law, not only Neil’s encounter with Liliana, but also his arrangement with Joy-Belle, in which she offers him sex in exchange for free rides in his van, arguably would be a criminal offence, depending on the definition of ‘payment’.

Parliamentary proceedings
17Jul 2007 – www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmhansrd/cm070717/debtext/70717-0007.htm

7 Feb 2008 – www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmhansrd/cm080207/debtext/80207-0003.htm

The Guardian
18 Jul 2007 – www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2007/jul/18/gender.ukcrime

21 Dec 2007 – www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2007/dec/21/uk.ukcrime
4 Sep 2008 – www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/sep/04/harrietharman.socialcare
26 Dec 2012 – www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/dec/26/government-pressure-review-prostitution-laws

Home Office news
20 Jun 2008 – www.wired-gov.net/wg/wg-news-1.nsf/0/35318A7F5ADB7E148025746E003476C5?OpenDocument


2. Criminalising prostitutes’ clients

(i) The Policing and Crime Bill 2008
In her Labour Party Conference speech on 21 September 2008, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith did not go as far as Harriet Harman had wished, saying: “We will start work to outlaw paying for sex with someone forced into prostitution at another’s will.”
    The Government’s review, published November 2008, recommended that sex with a ‘controlled’ woman be a strict liability offence; in other words that ignorance be no defence: the client would be guilty even if he did not know the woman was coerced. The Policing and Crime Bill was then introduced to Parliament by Jacqui Smith (who was subsequently shown to have made a Parliamentary expenses claim for the cost of pay-per-view pornographic films watched by her husband, and so herself may have been accused of paying for sexual services). It proposed making it a strict liability offence to pay for sex with a “person controlled for gain”, that is, someone coerced into providing sexual services for someone else’s benefit.
    Neil believes from press reports at that time that the Bill has already become law. After paying to have sex with Liliana thinking she is a willing partner, only to discover she is being coerced, Neil fears that if he tells the police about her he will be charged with a serious offence under the new legislation.

The Bill is online at:
www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmbills/007/09007.12-16.html


Report by Liberty, the civil liberties organisation, expressing its concerns about the Bill:
www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/pdfs/policy09/policing-and-crime-2nd-reading-commons.pdf

(ii) The Policing and Crime Act 2009
In fact, it was not until the following year that the Policing and Crime Act 2009 was passed, and the offence of paying for sex with a “person controlled for gain” did not come into force until April 2010. Since that date, anyone who pays for sex with a “person controlled for gain” is guilty even if they did not know and had no reason to believe that the person was coerced. He is guilty of the offence (“making or promising payment”) regardless of whether sex actually takes place.
    Neil’s situation in The Slave is now a reality. He would now be unable to tell the police about Liliana without being charged with a crime himself, just like real-life prostitutes’ clients who have information but cannot inform the authorities.

The Policing and Crime Act 2009 is online at:
www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2009/26/contents


3. The anti-prostitution campaign since the passing of the 2009 Act

While the Policing and Crime Act made it illegal to pay for sex with a controlled person, it did not make it illegal to pay for sex with a consenting adult. The campaign to make this a crime too has continued. At the start of 2013, Labour MP Gavin Shuker (chair of the All-party Parliamentary Group on Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade), Labour MSP Rhoda Grant in the Scottish Parliament, and Democratic Unionist peer Lord Morrow in Northern Ireland have all advocated legislation to stop men and women making such transactions. They continue to use the argument that this would reduce the trafficking of women into forced prostitution.

The All-party Parliamentary Group on Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade [2013]
http://appgprostitution.org


Members of the group
www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmallparty/register/prostitution-and-the-global-sex-trade.htm


4. How many women are held in forced prostitution?

It is impossible to know how many women (or men) are held captive as forced prostitutes. The number may be large or it may be small, since - obviously - it cannot be known how many remain undetected. No statistics have been collected, nor could they be.
    Yet made-up statistics about the number of trafficked, coerced women have been a consistent feature of the argument put forward by those campaigning to make it a crime to pay for sex.
    In November 2007, the Labour MP Denis MacShane stated in the House of Commons that “According to Home Office estimates, there are 25,000 sex slaves in the UK.” The figure had no basis in fact, and nor was it a Home Office estimate. In January 2008, he repeated the figure in the Commons, citing an article in the Daily Mirror as his source. The Daily Mirror story, written by the paper’s crime correspondent Jeff Edwards and published 19 October 2005, was headlined 25,000 Sex Slaves on the Streets of Britain but provided no evidence for this number. It remains unclear who gave Jeff Edwards the bogus statistic.
    In November 2008, the Labour MP and former Home Office minister Fiona MacTaggart stated that “Something like 80% of women in prostitution are controlled by their drug dealer, or their pimp or their trafficker.” This figure had no foundation in data gathered by any agency, nor in any research.
    A recording of Ms MacTaggart making this statement was played on the BBC Radio 4 programme More or Less on 11 January 2009, which looks at the accuracy of published statistics. The programme’s presenter Tim Harford went on to examine Ms MacTaggart's claim and disprove it. When confronted by Mr Harford during the programme, Ms MacTaggart defended herself by asserting that the figure was based on studies quoted in the Home Office report Paying The Price [a consultation paper on prostitution in the UK, July 2004]. This also was not true, according to Tim Harford and his team, who said they were unable to find the figure in Paying The Price.
    Sensationalist numbers, perhaps intended to shock or stir people into giving donations, are published by numerous pressure groups and charities worldwide - including the UN. According to Yuri Fedotov, former Russian ambassador to the UK and now head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime [UNODC], 80 per cent of trafficking victims are sex slaves. UNODC's website states as if it were a fact that 2.4 million people suffer the misery of this humiliating and degrading crime.” UNODC's Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2012 contains a vast array of similar data not supported by any research. They appear to be nothing more than guesses or estimates aggregated from information provided to UNODC voluntarily by institutions in a few of its participating countries.
    In October 2012, the UK's first Annual Report of the Inter-Departmental Ministerial Group on Human Trafficking stated that in the previous year
946 potential victims of human trafficking were referred to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). This potentially misleading figure is immediately followed by the comment that the UK Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC) Baseline Assessment suggests that there could be over 2,000 potential victims of human trafficking in the UK, based on information collected from a variety of other sources. Yet subsequently the report reveals the number of convictions on a principal offence basis [i.e. where trafficking was the more serious offence] in England and Wales for 2011 was 8. The total number of convictions for sexual exploitation was 49. It is not made clear why, since the number of successful prosecutions is so low, the estimated number of undiscovered victims is so high.
    Such lack of respect for accuracy and truth surely harms rather than helps women in forced prostitution. In particular, when claims like those of MacShane and MacTaggart are exposed, it risks creating the impression that because the scale of the problem has been exaggerated, its seriousness is perhaps also less.

Daily Mirror article 19 Oct 2005 used as a source by Denis MacShane:
www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/25000-sex-slaves-on-the-streets-of-britain-561825

Parliamentary proceedings 26 Nov 2007: Denis MacShane:
www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmhansrd/cm071126/debtext/71126-0002.htm

Parliamentary proceedings 16 Jan 2008: Denis MacShane:
www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmhansrd/cm080116/debtext/80116-0018.htm

BBC Radio 4 More or Less, 11 Jan 2009, can be heard at:
www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00gdz3t

Daily Telegraph article 4 Apr 2012: "2.4 million victims of human trafficking":
www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/9185811/2.4-million-victims-of-human-trafficking-worldwide-says-UN.html

UNODC Blue Heart campaign :
www.unodc.org/blueheart/

UN Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2012:
www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/glotip/Trafficking_in_Persons_2012_web.pdf

UK Annual Report of the Inter-Departmental Ministerial Group on Human Trafficking 2012:
www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/cm84/8421/8421.pdf


5. Law-enforcement before April 2010

In The Slave, Liliana is the victim of serious criminal offences. There was no need for any new legislation to save her. Crimes on which police could have acted to rescue Liliana, with no need for other witnesses, included kidnapping, abduction, false imprisonment, rape, and trafficking into the UK for sexual exploitation.
    Discovering Liliana held prisoner in a busy street, Neil wonders how such a thing is allowed to continue. The answer appears to be that the police, UK Border Agency and Home Office, under the Labour Government,  adopted a tolerant, laissez-faire attitude to brothels, immigration offences and law-breaking in general. According to a parliamentary answer by Vernon Coaker, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (26 Nov 2007), between 2003 and 2007 there were 67 arrests for trafficking women for sexual exploitation.
    In contradiction to this apparent everyday indifference to crime, police periodically staged attention-grabbing ‘operations’. In 2006, they carried out the 4-month Operation Pentameter against sex trafficking. 88 women and girls were found and most deported to their country of origin, 134 people were charged with crimes (mainly immigration offences, not trafficking) and the UK Human Trafficking Centre was set up (see below).
    From October 2007 to July 2008, a larger police operation, Operation Pentameter 2, detained 167 trafficked women and girls (the youngest was 14 years old) and arrested 528 people – but only 22 for human trafficking, of whom just 15 were found guilty, and of these only 5 were convicted of trafficking women against their will and forcing them to work as prostitutes.
    Actual footage of police undertaking surveillance and raids in Pentameter 2 became a thrilling 3-part Channel 4 series broadcast in August 2010, The Hunt for Britain's Sex Traffickers.
    Questions come to mind about such high-profile operations. For example, was there evidence of trafficked women being held at the targeted premises? If so, why hadn’t they been raided already? If there was no evidence, how were the premises selected? Was it perhaps on the suspicion of high-value seizable assets? What provision was in place during raids to deal with the immediate care needs of traumatised victims? It appears from the programmes that there was none.
    And what of law enforcement before, after and in-between such TV-drama operations? It seems that, in keeping with long-standing Home Office guidance, if police have been aware of a brothel they turned a blind eye unless a complaint is made by a member of the public.
    As an example, at exactly the same time that The Slave is set and in exactly the same neighbourhood, police in Golders Green (London NW11) raided a brothel in an alley directly opposite Golders Green Police Station! The brothel had been in business for years. It was finally raided in September 2008 – but only because a nearby resident complained after a noisy disturbance!

Parliamentary proceedings, 26 Nov 2007:
www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmhansrd/cm071126/debtext/71126-0002.htm

UK Action Plan on Tackling Human Trafficking, and updates:
2007 – www.ungift.org/doc/knowledgehub/resource-centre/Governments/UK_Action_Plan_to_Combat_Human_Trafficking_en.pdf
2009 – www.ungift.org/doc/knowledgehub/resource-centre/Governments/Update_to_the_UK_Action_Plan_on_Tackling_Human_Trafficking_en_2009.pdf

Pentameter information drawn from:
www.policeoracle.com/news/Pentameter-Facts-and-Figures_16691.html
www.no-trafficking.org/reports_docs/
www.soca.gov.uk/about-soca/about-the-ukhtc/national-referral-mechanism/statistics
www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmselect/cmhaff/23/2302.htm

Archived comment and news reports:
1. Header: Police close brothel opposite station. By Kevin Bradford, 2 Oct 2008 – www.times-series.co.uk/news/topstories/3720983.Police_close_brothel_opposite_station/
2. Header: Playing politics with sex workers. By Dr Belinda Brooks-Gordon, 16 Oct 2008 – www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/oct/16/law-jacquismith
3. Header: McCarthyism in the Bedroom. By Dr Belinda Brooks-Gordon, 21 Nov 2008 – www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/3563671/We-dont-need-McCarthyism-in-the-bedroom.html

The Hunt for Britain's Sex Traffickers (TV programme, 2010) is online at
www.channel4.com/programmes/the-hunt-for-britains-sex-traffickers/episode-guide/series-1


6. Law-enforcement since April 2010 - a Modern Slavery Bill in 2013

In The Slave, Neil believes the police cannot find out about his visit to Liliana unless he tells them. In real life, the police agree that this is the position: Police chiefs questioned by the Home Affairs Select Committee in 2009 doubted the feasibility of arresting men for paying for sex with a person controlled for gain, if it were a strict liability offence, unless they were caught in the act or subsequently admitted to the crime.
    After the implementation of the 2009 Act, there was a more concerted police effort to raid sex establishments. A Metropolitan Police specialist crime directorate, SCD9 or Human Exploitation and Organised Crime Command, was set up in April 2010 to (among other things) investigate the trafficking of adults for sexual exploitation where there is a link to an organised criminal network. This clearly ignores women trafficked other than by organised gangs. However, at least this team, comprising several different units including the Trafficking and Prostitution Unit, targets traffickers rather than men who pay for sex.
    In 2011, SCD9’s report into the first year of its activities stated that 19 people had been charged with human trafficking, and 201 victims rescued. It is not clear how many successful prosecutions resulted, if any, or what subsequently became of the women rescued. No similar report was published in 2012.
    Following raids on brothels in Northern Ireland in 2011, NI Police stated that 73 trafficking victims had been rescued since 2009, but no traffickers had been successfully prosecuted. As for the ‘clients’, it appeared that they were simply asked not to use trafficked women in future!
    The number of men arrested for paying for sex with a controlled person appears extremely low. By early 2013, the only figures available refer to 2010. A written exchange in July 2011 between Dennis MacShane MP and Lynne Featherstone MP (on behalf of the Home Secretary) gave the number arrested under the relevant section of the Act in the period April-December 2010 as 49 in total, and the number found guilty as 43.
    Meanwhile the police attitude to trafficking victims seemingly improved, at least during that period. According to Detective Inspector  Kevin Hyland of the Trafficking and Prostitution Unit, in an interview for the Catholic media at the Bishops’ Conference of England Wales in 2011, “Support… and rescue of the victim is the most important part of the work we do… The welfare of the victim comes first.”

A report in 2012 (by London Assembly Member Andrew Boff), for the office of the London Mayor, was highly critical of police methods of visiting brothels without evidence of any crime being committed and simply asking the workers if they are there of their own free will; any enslaved women cannot answer honestly. Boff’s report also deals with the disparate and unverified estimates of the number of coerced women, and the ambiguous use of the expression ‘sex trafficking’ to include both willing and forced prostitutes. Andrew Boff recommend better use of information from sex workers. This assumes the women have access to the police.
    In reality, coerced women have no access to the police. The absence of any witness evidence provided either by the women or by the prostitutes’ clients – who, since the 2009 Act, no longer inform police about clandestine premises or coerced women they have encountered – is an obstacle to successful prosecutions of traffickers.

In August 2013, Home Secretary Theresa May promised a 'Modern Slavery' Bill. Writing in the Sunday Times on 25 August 2013, Mrs May said her bill will coordinate efforts to combat modern slavery under the National Crime Agency (which in October 2013 replaces the Serious and Organised Crime Agency and other nationwide law enforcement agencies). She said: Trafficking prevention court orders would be introduced, and a "modern slavery commissioner" would be appointed.

Police chiefs quoted:
Home Affairs Select Committee Report (May 2009): The Trade in Human Beings: Human Trafficking in the UK – www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmselect/cmhaff/23/2302.htm

About SCD9:
 http://content.met.police.uk/News/New-Human-Exploitation-and-Organised-Crime-Command/1260267476112/1257246745756
www.mpa.gov.uk/committees/sop/2011/1110/08/
http://policeauthority.org/metropolitan/committees/sop/2011/1110/08/index.html

Hansard, written answers, 5 Jul 2011
[Data provided by the Ministry of Justice on the number of persons proceeded against and found guilty at all courts, under Section 53A(1) of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 in England and Wales in 2010 (latest available)]
www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm110705/text/110705w0002.htm

N. Ireland brothel raids 2011 (BBC reports)
www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-16514720
www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-15996188
www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-14023871

Interview with DI Kevin Hyland at Bishops’ Conference 2011 (click link to MP3 file)
www.catholic-ew.org.uk/Home/Podcasts/Catholic-News/Tackling-Human-Trafficking

Andrew Boff report to London Mayor (2012)
www.scribd.com/doc/90809335/Silence-on-Violence-Improving-the-Safety-of-Women-and-the-Policing-of-off-street-sex-work-and-sex-trafficking-in-London

Theresa May proposes 'Modern Slavery' Bill (reports and comment, Aug 2013)
 www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/uk_news/National/article1305022.ece
 
www.upi.com/Top_News/Special/2013/08/27/British-home-secretary-introduces-bill-to-fight-modern-slavery/UPI-89261377576780/
 www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23831304
 www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron/10259927/William-Wilberforces-heirs-are-ready-to-tackle-the-great-evil-of-the-age.html


7. Criminalising prostitutes’ clients – the Swedish experience

The Swedish approach has become the touchstone for activists who want to stamp out prostitution. In 1999, Sweden criminalised all payment for sex. The stated justification for this move was that human trafficking was driven by the demand side of prostitution - i.e., that it could be ended by removing the demand for prostitutes. Accordingly, Sweden concentrated on prosecuting prostitutes clients. After the law came into effect street prostitution substantially fell, with nearly all sexual services moving into private premises.
    Because prostitution became a more clandestine activity, the result has been difficult to assess. Data remains incomplete and inconclusive. Neither of the two obvious possible outcomes – either that sex slavery has been reduced in Sweden, or that it has not – has been demonstrated.
    In 2008 the Chancellor of Justice Anna Skarhed conducted the Swedish Government’s official investigation into the effects of the law. Her report, published July 2010 and updated January 2011, stated that the overall number of prostitutes in Sweden had not declined, but that the law had nonetheless been effective. To make it more effective still she proposed an increase in the jail terms.

The Skarhed Report (English title: Prohibiting the purchase of sexual services. An evaluation 1999-2008)
http://regeringen.se/sb/d/12634/a/149142


8. Criminalising prostitutes’ clients – the “Swedish” effect on other countries

The Swedish law made the criminalisation of prostitutes’ clients a political issue in the other Nordic countries. Norway followed Sweden’s example in 2009, and took the further step of making it a crime for a Norwegian citizen to pay for sex anywhere in the world. (Also in 2009, the UK enacted the Policing and Crime Act – see above.) In the same year, Iceland passed a law similar to Sweden’s, and in 2010, Iceland also made striptease illegal. As far as I know, there has not yet been any official study in Norway or Iceland into the effectiveness of the law.
    Denmark adopted the opposite approach. In 1999, prostitution was fully decriminalised in Denmark. In 2011, Finland joined Denmark in rejecting a Swedish-style ban on paying for sex. However, Danish advocates of criminalisation campaign actively and are reportedly confident of eventual success.
    In Norway, Pro Sentret [ie. Prostitutes’ Centre], Oslo’s resource service for current and former prostitutes, recorded a steady increase in the number of prostitutes in the city over the period 2009-2011. In 2012, Anniken Hauglie, social policy advisor to the Norwegian Conservative Party parliamentary group, recommended Norway to repeal its law against paying for sex. In July 2012, the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, an independent body set up by the UN Development Programme, advised against the Swedish approach and recommended that all countries decriminalise private consensual adult sex, including those where payment takes place.
    However, in 2012 and 2013 several jurisdictions (including Ireland, Scotland, France and Western Australia) began investigating the possibility of adopting Swedish-style criminalisation of all transactions involving sex.

The Nordic Prostitution Policy Reform (research body funded by Swedish Research Council)
http://nppr.se


The Local, Norwegian news in English (22 Jun 2012)
www.thelocal.no/page/view/rip-up-prostitution-law-says-top-oslo-politician#.UNwwam8bdIU

Report by UNRIC Western Europe
www.unric.org/en/human-trafficking/27451-euro-crisis-force-prostitutes-to-oslo-norway


Pro Sentret
http://prosentret.no


Global Commission on HIV and the Law
www.hivlawcommission.org


New South Wales (Australia) sex workers’ website
http://nothing-about-us-without-us.com


9. European Union and human trafficking

Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights states ‘No one shall be held in slavery or servitude.’ Yet all over Europe, this is happening. Despite condemning human trafficking and allocating funds to prevent it, the European Union has in practice facilitated trafficking, including sex slavery, especially since 2004.
    
A founding principle of the EU is the free movement of goods and people within the Union. The EU (until 2010) defined the trafficking of human beings as the transport of people into the EU from non-member countries, rather than within the Union itself. The Schengen Agreement of 1985 removed border controls between most EU countries, further assisting the illegal transportation of people.
    The EU has not collected any official data on the scale of human trafficking, but there is general agreement that trafficking women for sex increased after the fall of Communism in 1989, and flourished particularly from 2004, when the EU admitted eight former Soviet Bloc countries (two more were admitted in 2007). The result has been a huge demographic movement as millions of individuals sought to profit from the economic disparity between eastern and western Europe.
    An EU Directive of 2004 required that trafficking victims cooperate with the authorities in order to qualify for help. This often placed them in great danger, and aided traffickers. Not until 2010, when it appointed an Anti-Trafficking Coordinator, did the EU recommend that trafficking victims be cared for rather than prosecuted. However the emphasis of the EU’s approach continues to be limited to exhortation, merely urging the source countries to discourage the trade in women; it has in any case no power to enforce laws in the destination countries where women are held captive.

Reports of European Conference on Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, European Parliament, Brussels, Sep 2002. Summary of current European Union position on human trafficking:
http://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/policies/crime/crime_human_trafficking_en.htm


10. Israel’s successful approach – targeting the traffickers

The UK has not taken advantage of Israel’s experience in successfully combating human trafficking and forced prostitution since 2006. Israels approach has been to target the traffickers, care for the women, and use witness evidence provided by clients.

In Israel, prostitution is legal, but groups of prostitutes, pimping and brothels are illegal, as is coercion. Brothels have been tolerated as long as there is no coercion.
    
Forced prostitution became a problem in Israel after the collapse of the Soviet bloc in 1989. During the early 1990s, about one million Jewish refugees from the former Soviet Union arrived in Israel. The number of prostitutes in the country greatly increased. They were popularly referred to as “Russian prostitutes”, although it was later shown that the majority were from the Ukraine and Moldova, both now independent countries. The assumption that most clients were also “Russians” somehow made them seem irrelevant to the larger society.
    A Parliamentary Inquiry Committee (chaired by Zahava Gal-On, herself from the USSR) was set up in 2004 to investigate the phenomenon. Its report, published in 2005, stated that “Words are not strong enough to describe the horror” of what the Committee encountered during the research.
    
The Committee estimated that about 10,000 women, mainly from the former Soviet Union, had been smuggled into Israel as forced prostitutes held in about 400 locations, and that they were being bought and sold by criminal gangs. It is not clear if this data is open to question, but it brought about a radical shift in public perception. The Knesset Subcommittee on Trafficking in Women was set up to monitor the problem and report to government.

In 2006, Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) passed the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (Legislative Amendments) Law, better known as the Anti-Trafficking Law, to target those who traffic and enslave people whether for sex or other purposes. The new law imposed penalties of up to 16 years jail for trafficking an adult, 16 years for slavery, and 20 years for trafficking a minor. Convicted traffickers were also required to pay compensation to their victims. The National Anti-Trafficking Unit was formed to coordinate police, NGOs and other agencies to facilitate successful prosecutions.
    Freed victims of forced prostitution are provided with a one-year visa and may reside voluntarily at protected shelters, funded by the state but run by charities or NGOs, which offer counselling, medical care and, where needed, employment training. The stay can be extended by the courts – in 2010 a victim was given a two-year visa.
    The Anti-Trafficking Law was applied with rigour. Police and immigration officers actively sought out possible coercion offences, encouraging clients to come forward. Scores of trials resulted, with sometimes long sentences handed down. According to the Knesset Subcommittee on Trafficking in Women, the numbers of coerced women rapidly declined.
    In June 2012, the US Government’s annual worldwide report ‘Trafficking in Persons’ raised Israel to a Tier 1 country (i.e. one of the 32 nations fully compliant with minimum best practice standards to eradicate trafficking). Its report stated, “Some isolated cases of women … are subjected to forced prostitution in Israel, although the number of women affected continues to decline since the passage and implementation of Israel’s 2006 anti-trafficking law.”
    
The chair of the Knesset Subcommittee on Trafficking in Women, Orit Zuaretz (also originally from the USSR), concurred, saying that “The sex trade as we knew it is practically eliminated.”

However, Ms Zuaretz also said that there were still [in 2012] incidents of women-trafficking and some held as slaves.” The problem of forced prostitution is therefore not eradicated. NGOs informally reported that prostitutes they encounter now are Israelis not brought from abroad, yet some do appear to be coerced. Meanwhile, in 2012 there were a further 18 investigations into human trafficking, resulting in 15 convictions with prison sentences of between 8 months and 5 years.
    Prostitution between consenting adults remains fully legal in Israel. This situation is threatened by some Christian and Leftist groups, notably the Jerusalem Institute of Justice (www.jij.org.il) and Atzum (http://atzum.org), who campaign to prohibit all payment for sex (along Swedish lines). In February 2012, in support of this campaign, MKs Orit Zuaretz and Zahava Gal-On introduced a bill into the Knesset. It passed the first reading, and might then have been reviewed by a parliamentary committee and re-presented for debate, but this was not done in time before the Knesset was dissolved and new elections held in January 2013. Zahava Gal-On was re-elected, but hopefully her attempt to criminalise prostitution has been halted.

Summary conclusions of the Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry on the Trafficking in Women 2005
www.knesset.gov.il/committees/eng/docs/vaadat_chakira_shahar_eng.htm


Situation in 2007 as described by BBC News
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7070929.stm


US Government Trafficking in Persons report 2012
www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2012/192367.htm


Haartez news report June 2012
www.haaretz.com/news/national/israel-s-ranking-in-human-trafficking-report-improves-1.439973


United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking
www.ungift.org/doc/knowledgehub/resource-centre/Governments/Israel_Ministry_of_Justice_TIP.pdf


11. Why would Liliana be Moldovan?

In The Slave, the traffickers are Albanian and Bosnian, while their victims are mainly Moldovan. This is a typical situation in reality. Moldova is one of Europe’s principal places of origin of trafficked women. It’s a small former Soviet republic that became an independent country in 1991 when the USSR disintegrated. Its capital is Chişinău (also written Kishinev; pronounced “Kishinau” locally, or “Kishinyov” in Russian). Rural and undeveloped, Moldova has by far the lowest GDP in Europe, with a brutalised past, an internal breakaway region, a weak sense of nationhood, serious problems of unemployment and poverty, and a legacy of corruption and Communist-era bureaucracy. The national language is Romanian (locally known as Moldovan), which in Moldova, from 1940 to 1989, was written in Cyrillic, after which it reverted to the Latin alphabet. Russian is Moldova’s official second language.
    Moldova had previously been part of Romania (formerly Bessarabia). For economic and political reasons, the USSR separated this territory from the rest of Romania in 1940, and added a part of western Ukraine on the east bank of River Dniester. Moldova’s very rural economy was wholly dependent on the USSR, to which it supplied wine.
    Post-Soviet Moldova struggled to become a democracy and a candidate for membership of the European Union. In consequence it suffered catastrophic trade sanctions by Russia. Between 1990 and 1999, GDP fell by over 60%. The slender portion of Moldova lying east of the River Dniester, known as Transnistria (formerly part of the Ukraine), achieved a de-facto secession under a pro-Russian government.
    These problems led to an exodus of its people in search of even the most meagre livelihood elsewhere, most going to Russia, Turkey and into EU countries. Young women, whether as paid-for ‘wives’ or as sex workers, became one of Moldova’s sources of revenue.
    The final census of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Moldova, in 1989, numbered the population as 4.3 million. The first census of the independent Republic of Moldova, in 2004, showed that the total had fallen by then to 3.8 million including Transnistria. In the years since, the economy has made a steady recovery, with GDP standing at about half the level before independence, and the society has become less chaotic, but net emigration has continued. The UN estimated the country’s population in 2009 as 3.6 million, and falling at 0.6% each year.

EU website on Moldova
http://eeas.europa.eu/moldova


Republic of Moldova Government website
www.moldova.md


Global anti-corruption website
www.transparency.org.uk


Moldovan National Bureau of Statistics
www.statistica.md


12. Missing Persons – recapturing escaped slaves

In The Slave, Liliana’s ‘owners’ attempt to find out where she is simply by putting up Missing Person flyers. Describing someone as a ‘missing person’ can be an effective way to recapture her (or him). Around London I have seen several unofficial posters and notices like the ones Neil sees.
    
The wording of the Missing Person poster featuring Neil himself is closely based on a real notice I saw taped to the wall of Golders Green underground station in June 2011. The wording of the Liliana poster closely follows the wording of a real half-page advertisement I saw in a north London newspaper in June 2007.
    
In March 2012 I took to Hampstead police station a sheet of A4 paper, on which was printed a picture of a “missing” young woman wanted by anonymous people using a mobile phone number. It said she was dangerous and had to be returned to them for her own safety. Several of these sheets had been taped or stapled to signboards and lamp-posts around Hampstead Heath. The police saw nothing suspicious in it, and declined to investigate or even call the number.


13. Legal approach to victims of trafficking - a change in 2013?

In The Slave, Neil fears that if Liliana were to fall into the hands of the police, she would not be freed, but rather would be arrested, detained and deported. His concerns are justified.
    
When discovered by the police, trafficked women forced into prostitution have generally been charged with immigration offences, found guilty, and punished. As well as prolonging their misery, this helped kidnappers track them down and recapture them. Traffickers closely follow the legal proceedings against their slaves.
    Most trafficked women are eventually deported back to the place where they were first captured. The Poppy Project reported to the Home Affairs Select Committee that 21% of their clients had been re-trafficked after being deported, some within a short time of arriving back in their home country.

In a real case similar to Liliana’s, when police discovered a Moldovan woman imprisoned in a London brothel in 2003 they arrested her for being in possession of false documents which the traffickers were using to move her around. For this offence she was imprisoned in Holloway prison for three months, and then held in Oakington Detention Centre before being deported back to Moldova. In prison, she was visited several times by the traffickers, who were never arrested or investigated for any offence. On her arrival in Moldova, they at once recaptured her, assaulted her and returned her to the UK to continue as their prisoner in a brothel just as before.
    Up to that point, nothing unusual had occurred. The case became unusual only when the woman was arrested for a second time by London police in 2007. She was imprisoned in Yarls Wood detention centre, but this time ended up in the care of the Poppy Project (see below). On their advice she brought an action for damages against the Home Office for returning her to Moldova.
    I am not able to give the woman’s own name for legal reasons. Her case was heard by Mrs Justice Cox at the High Court in London on 11 April 2011. At that date (and at the time of writing this, over two years later), the police had not arrested her traffickers. The woman received a payment in damages from the Home Office. Her solicitor was Harriet Wistrich, of Birnberg Peirce and Partners, London. Steven Kovats QC, acting for the Home Office, claimed that the treatment of trafficking victims had since been improved.

In June 2013, the UK's Court of Appeal heard the appeals of four unconnected trafficking victims who had all been found guilty in lower courts of committing crimes while held as slaves. Three were young men held as forced labour by drugs gangs. The fourth was a woman in her 30s held in forced prostitution, who had been found guilty of being in possession of a false identity document.
    
The appeal judges quashed all four convictions, and advised UK courts that in future trafficking victims forced to commit criminal acts should be regarded as victims of crime rather than perpetrators (while not immune from prosecution if they voluntarily commit crimes). Speaking on behalf of the Appeal Court, the Lord Chief Justice said:
     The criminality, or putting it another way, the culpability, of any victim of trafficking may be significantly diminished, and in some cases effectively extinguished... because no realistic alternative was available to the exploited victim but to comply with the dominant force of another individual, or group of individuals.”
     Few trafficked women arrested and found guilty of immigration or passport offences are likely to find their way to the Appeal Court. But it is to be hoped that the Appeal Court's advice will eventually cause the police and Crown Prosecution Service to stop charging trafficked women with such crimes.

Home Affairs Committee Report: The Trade in Human Beings: Human Trafficking in the UK
www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmselect/cmhaff/23/2302.htm

BBC News, April 2011
www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13039290

Appeal Court's guidance on prosecution of trafficking victims (summary), June 2013
www.crimeline.info/case/l-hvn-thn-t-v-r-2013...


14. Working to end human trafficking and slavery

Anti-Slavery International, founded as the Anti-Slavery Society in 1839, is one of the world's most authoritative and effective voices lobbying governments, assisting victims and highlighting the suffering of trafficked people exploited, oppressed and enslaved in all industries around the world. The focus tends to be on forced manual and domestic labour, but they also work to help victims of sex trafficking.
www.antislavery.org

Stop the Traffik also campaigns effectively to end the worldwide trafficking and slavery of men, women and children, not just for sex but in other industries. An imaginative initiative is their website enabling business travellers to provide information if they encounter people they suspect have been trafficked.
www.businesstravellers.org
www.stopthetraffik.org

The UK Human Trafficking Centre is part of SOCA – the Serious Organised Crime Agency formed in 2006 to investigate serious crimes. It collaborates with other organisations to gather and coordinate evidence of human trafficking, and deals with victims, with a view to deciding whether they should remain temporarily in the UK to assist a prosecution, be returned to their own country immediately, or be referred to another organisation for care before deportation.
www.ukhtc.org


15. EAVES and the Poppy Project

EAVES is a charity which describes itself as a feminist organisation and a member of the End Violence Against Women Campaign. Its purpose is to help and rehabilitate women over 18 years of age escaping from violent situations, and campaign on their behalf. EAVES set up the Poppy Project (see below), and has been instrumental in establishing that trafficking victims are entitled to care and support, and should not be detained and prosecuted.
    However, in addition to its work with trafficking victims, EAVES campaigns to make prostitution illegal, taking an extreme anti-male (or anti-client) position. Its Information Sheet on Prostitution (published December 2008) baldly stated (Part V) that “Men who pay for sex tend to view it as an entitlement, ‘assisted masturbation with no strings’ with women who are ‘abnormal’ or ‘dirty’ to whom they can do anything without penalty.” Their literature contained vitriolic condemnation of men who pay for sex, even with willing partners, with a suggestion that they have “sociopathic tendencies”. These information sheets have since been removed from their website and replaced with a report on their research into prostitutes clients, which uses a statistically insignificant sample of 103 self-selected men (who were paid to participate), and produces conclusions that seem to have been predetermined.
http://i3.cmsfiles.com/eaves/2012/04/MenWhoBuySex-89396b.pdf (Eaves report: Men Who Buy Sex).

The Poppy Project was started in 2003 as part of the work of EAVES to provide accommodation and help to trafficked women freed from exploitation (not just sex slavery). Between March 2003 and October 2007, the Poppy Project assisted 55 trafficked women who were being held in detention centres on immigration offences. From 2007 to 2011, the Poppy Project provided its services on behalf of the Home Office with Government funding and links to the police. In 2011, the Poppy Project lost the Government contract to care for trafficking victims, which was given instead to The Salvation Army (see below).
www.eaves4women.co.uk


16. Caring for rescued trafficking victims in the UK

The Salvation Army, with Government funding, offers accommodation, care and broad-ranging assistance for victims of abuse or cruelty, including freed trafficking victims. Although its primary purpose is as an international missionising Nonconformist Protestant organisation, the Salvation Army offers assistance without regard to the religion of those referred to them.
www.salvationarmy.org.uk

The Poppy Project, now dependent on charitable donations, continues to care for victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking. To contact Poppy or make referrals, call 020 7735 2062.

unseen(uk) provides rescued women with places of safety, medical care, therapy and counselling, as well as legal and other advice following their ordeal, and also runs educational sessions for service providers.
www.unseenuk.org

STOP campaigns for legal action against human traffickers, and provides care and support to victims, also assisting them in acting as witnesses to enable prosecutions. Their helpline is 0844 800 33 14.
www.stop-uk.org

Other organisations offering immediate assistance to trafficking victims include: City Hearts (www.city-hearts.co.uk  – provides accommodation and support for people rescued from trafficking); the Medaille Trust (www.medaille.co.uk – Catholic organisation offering safe housing and physical and psychological help for trafficking victims); ECPAT UK (www.ecpat.org.uk – protects child victims); and the Helen Bamber Foundation (www.helenbamber.org – helps victims of torture).

 

– end –

 


The Slave – Afterword © Andrew Sanger 2013
Worldwide copyright

This document is on the webpage at :
http://www.andrewsanger.com/The-Slave/afterword

 

 
     
     
             

 

 

Whole website, design, text, images and all content copyright worldwide.
© Andrew Sanger.