Fri, Oct 14, 2016 - Page 7 News List

‘We are coming after you’: May to human traffickers

Thomson Reuters Foundation, LONDON

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday vowed to put the UK at the forefront of global efforts to eradicate modern slavery, warning human traffickers.

May called for a greater urgency in tackling a crime affecting about 46 million people worldwide and generating US$150 billion in illegal profits per year.

“To the victims of modern slavery: We will not ignore your plight,” she said, speaking at London’s Westminster Abbey. “We will not turn away. We will not shut our eyes and pretend your suffering does not exist.”

“We will work tirelessly, relentlessly pursuing the perpetrators of these appalling crimes so that victims of slavery can go free. And my message to these criminals is simply this: We are coming after you,” May said.

Britain last year passed tough anti-slavery legislation introducing life sentences for traffickers and forcing companies to disclose what they are doing to make sure their supply chains are free from slavery.

Last month, May pledged to use £33.5 million (US$41 million) from the foreign aid budget to focus on combating slavery in countries which victims are known to be trafficked to Britain, where about 11,700 people are enslaved.

“This is a global phenomenon that knows no geographical boundaries, crossing not just borders, but over the Internet,” she said. “So we need a radical domestic and international approach to target every aspect of this despicable trade and strip the slave drivers of the profit they make out of human suffering.”

Sierra Leonean soccer player and survivor of modern slavery, Alhassan Bangura, 28, welcomed the UK government’s commitment and said he hoped concrete measures would be taken to combat the practice.

Bangura has spoken publicly about how he was trafficked to Britain at the age of 14 with attempts to force him to work as a prostitute.

He managed to escape and sought asylum in the UK.

“I can’t say enough has been done so far, but this is a good platform. The [British] prime minister is here backing us to tackle it and hopefully we can get somewhere,” Bangura said after the service.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top