With over 20 million people worldwide, including children, being forced into slavery, Jeff Norman, a UK-based specialist in human trafficking, has told Radio Sputnik that slavery needs to be regarded as a serious crime everywhere. December 2 marks the International Day for the abolition of slavery.
Sputnik: What about child slavery? Is it still something that is happening regularly?
Jeff Norman: Unfortunately, this is happening all over the world, and it’s not just African countries. You can look at the US; you can look at the UK. All around the world children are being exploited. Until we actually deal with it is going to grow because there is so much money to be earned from it. This is what organized criminal gangs are doing. It’s a lucrative business. With human trafficking you get products you can sell and resell many times, they have great resale value and we have to do something about this.
Sputnik: How does illegal migration contribute to this slave trade?
Jeff Norman: Some of these migrants are in such a horrible situation; they are desperate for work and desperate for their own safety. Ultimately, they are extremely vulnerable and people are making a lot of money by exploiting them.
Sputnik: What can be done in terms of more focus, more education within the global community to deal with this problem?
Jeff Norman: Slavery needs to be regarded as a serious crime problem right across the world. As soon as the awareness is there that this is a massive issue that needs to be dealt with, perhaps it then will get the focus it needs. It’s about safeguarding vulnerable people and as soon as people focus on the safeguarding aspect of this issue then the problem will be dealt with.
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