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Slavery in Britain today

(45 Posts)
boot Fri 23-Aug-13 10:01:38

Fraser Nelson calls it the great evil of the age.

FlicketyB Fri 23-Aug-13 10:43:02

Slavery also includes interns worked to exhaustion or death by banks for little or no money and the whole intern system that makes some careers only accessible to those prepared to work for potential employers for anything from six months to a year or more as unpaid labour.

Then there are those forced to work on zero hours contracts, and care workers who do not get paid for the time and mileage on their own cars travelling between clients. These people are as much slaves as those championed by anti-slavery groups.

They are all desperate to start careers or bring some money into a low/no income household and are completely at the mercy of callous employers who exploit their vulnerability.

Riverwalk Fri 23-Aug-13 10:57:54

I don't think overworking bank interns and forcing zero-hours contracts can be called slavery - exploitation certainly.

The word slavery should be saved for those poor unfortunates who are born into bondage in places like Mauritania and India.

nightowl Fri 23-Aug-13 11:02:57

And brought into bondage in the UK, as described in the article. We are surrounded by them on a daily basis but unless we open our eyes to it nothing will change. Thank you for posting this boot

finocchio Fri 23-Aug-13 11:07:49

Theresa May seems to be on the right track. I hope her policies in this area bear fruit.

FlicketyB Fri 23-Aug-13 17:51:24

What is slavery but exploitation?

Greatnan Fri 23-Aug-13 21:14:25

Theresa May has gone up in my estimation. I wonder if she can tackle the scandal of the domestic slaves brought in by rich Saudis - they have no passports and are frequently beaten, starved, worked to death, or raped.

absent Fri 23-Aug-13 21:23:26

FlicketyB Slavery is certainly exploitation but not all exploitation is slavery. Are there really interns in banks worked to death? Are they unable to leave? Are they likely to be prosecuted if they do? There's not really any comparison, although I agree that the ridiculous intern system is wrong and exploitative.

Greatnan I am full of admiration for Theresa May and profoundly hope that her planned legislation and commission come to fruition as soon as possible. (I never envisaged myself saying such a thing.)

Nonu Fri 23-Aug-13 21:32:49

Theresa May , wonderful woman , Tory to boot also !!

nanaej Fri 23-Aug-13 22:09:23

The Bill has been in the process , promoted by the anti slavery society and Liberty , for a while. Pleased to see something is actually happening at last that will make the slave masters the ones who are prosecuted rather than the victims of all the scams.

If I had my cynical hat on I would be thinking it might just be seen as a good way to reduce 'immigration'.

susieb755 Sat 24-Aug-13 17:41:24

My women's group supports the purple tear drop campaign, which is woring hard to highlight human trafficking and slavery

Before singing Ms Mays praises, we might like to ask her why she does not allow for the figures of trafficked people to be collated by county area, and why the work is so underfunded

trafficked people are so often treated as criminals instead of victims, and many are just young children - such as the street beggars

finocchio Sat 24-Aug-13 21:39:29

Theresa May is in the process of laying down instructions to the police to desist in criminalising those that are trafficked. This will go a long way in re-routing this 'easy option', and highlight the need to prosecute the gangs that are involved in this dreadful problem. Top down instead of bottom up.

Greatnan Sun 25-Aug-13 06:31:27

Another iniquity I would like to see her tackle is the prosecution of women for street soliciting - why not prosecute the kerb crawlers who often appear to be looking for underage girls?

MiceElf Sun 25-Aug-13 06:54:27

It's still on the statute books, Greatnan, but the police (the Met anyway) ceased to prosecute women for soliciting about seven tears ago. Every so often there is a swoop on kerb crawlers, but it does seem to be intermittent.

bluebell Sun 25-Aug-13 08:05:22

Well done again Nonu

Nonu Sun 25-Aug-13 11:23:33

Bluebell , you are being sweet this morning , what"s up ?

gracesmum Sun 25-Aug-13 12:29:16

Zoe Ferraris's books especially "Kingdom of Strangers" paint(s) a horrific picture of domestic servant abuse and yes, it is slavery, in Saudi. We may be able to do little other than express disapproval of this disregard for human rights in another country, but when it is happening on our own doorstep - it has to be identified and dealt with. However rich - the guilty parties are not above the law in the UK (or at least shouldn't be).

nonu - it sounds as if Maggie Thatcher has been supplanted in your affections by Saint Theresa. hmm

Nonu Sun 25-Aug-13 12:31:18

I would not go so far as to say that Gracemum !!

thatbags Sun 25-Aug-13 13:04:06

Another good article by Nelson, this time about Theresa May is doing even before her new anti-slavery law is enacted.

petallus Sun 25-Aug-13 13:22:44

Oddly enough absent there is a case in the paper today of an intern in a bank who was worked to death.

He was 21 and had worked for three nights in a row, one hundred hours a week.

gracesmum Sun 25-Aug-13 13:37:25

I think that was the case referred to. I have less sympathy for this than for young women beaten, starved, abused, raped, worked 24/7 for their keep - often in a cellar or attic. The overworking culture among those who aspire to stratospheric earnings is clearly a bad thing, but no one forces them into that line of work. There is almost even an arrogance in the "first at your desk, last away from it " culture reminiscent of the Yuppies of the 80's. Even with graduate employment as hard to get as it is, this poor young man must have known what he was letting himself in for with Deutsche Bank. I wonder how it compares with junior hospital doctors who work similar hours with no option to do otherwise?

petallus Sun 25-Aug-13 14:05:51

And there was me feeling sorry for him sad

petallus Sun 25-Aug-13 14:07:06

And I mentioned the case because absent doubted that people were being worked to death in Banks.

petallus Sun 25-Aug-13 14:08:19

Also gracesmum just because there are worse cases, can't we feel sorry for this young man as well or is there only a certain amount of compassion to go round?

Greatnan Sun 25-Aug-13 14:43:33

I believe Saudis who have diplomatic immunity are above the law in Britain. A vile regime, much loved by Blair.