Britain's Modern Slave Trade: An exclusive report from Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit
- Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit goes undercover to reveal the true scale of modern slavery in suburban Britain.
- The report exposes the slave masters and the people smugglers and hears from victims about their ordeals.
- Examines the car wash business, cannabis farms, sex slave trade and people trafficking
For immediate release
A new report Britain’s Modern Slave Trade from Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit airs on Sunday 24th April at 2000GMT. Following six months of undercover filming, Al Jazeera can reveal the true scale of modern slavery in Britain, and the possible links with big businesses.
During the investigation the reporters confront a car wash owner accused of slavery; they go inside an active cannabis farm; travel to Romania to meet a sex trafficker; meet a woman who has worked as a sex slave, been rescued and then re-trafficked into sex slavery in the UK; and talk to Vietnamese people smugglers as well as those they end up smuggling.
The report comes as Kevin Hyland, the UK’s Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner warns big business that they may unwittingly be using slaves in their supply chain. This coincides with new laws coming into force this month (April) obliging firms to publish slavery statements.
Yet the car wash workers featured in the report, reveal their shocking working and living conditions: £35 for a 12-hour day; verbal and physical abuse from their British boss; huge fines and debt bondage imposed for minor damage; squalid accommodation in temporary cabins on the car wash site.
Undercover filming inside an active cannabis farm reveals the details of a lone Vietnamese gardener’s job: how the electricity is stolen, and how he never goes out and lives in fear. A cannabis slave trafficked from Vietnam to England also talks about how he was beaten, kept in chains and almost starved.
The team travels to Romania and are offered sex slaves for 500 euros each. In London they meet a sex trafficker who brings young women from Romania and forces them into prostitution. He describes the techniques he uses to control their lives and their minds. They also meet an eastern European sex slave trafficked, rescued and re-trafficked into sex slavery in the UK.
Finally, at a nail bar in London a Vietnamese woman describes how she has just been smuggled into the UK in a lorry. Her brother explains the route she used to get to the UK. In Vietnam, people-smugglers reveal how they take people 6,000 miles to the UK. They explain the routes, the cost and how they use fake ID.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Please credit Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit.
Britain’s Modern Slave Trade will be broadcast on Al Jazeera English at the following times:
Sunday 24th April at 2000GMT
Monday 25th April at 1200GMT
Tuesday 26th April at 01000GMT
Wednesday 27th April at 0600GMT
Thursday 28th April at 2000GMT