Last year I met Ben, a British man who’d been made homeless and had been living on the streets. Collecting food at a soup kitchen one evening, he was approached and offered a job by a man and woman. Having nobody to call and nothing to pack, Ben got in the car. What followed was months of abuse as Ben was forced to work paving driveways, paid little and kept in squalor. He was threatened, intimidated and forbidden to leave. Working alongside others, some of whom were so totally broken that they called their boss ‘Daddy’, Ben endured horrendous abuse at the hands of men who saw him as a cheaper option than buying a machine. This is modern slavery in the UK.
It’s an uncomfortable truth to acknowledge – that thousands of people are being forced into slavery here in the UK.