12,000 foreign ’sex slaves’ work in British brothels

August 19th, 2010 - 1:49 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 19 (IANS) As many as 12,000 foreign women were smuggled into Britain and forced to work as “sex slaves” so that crime gangs could earn hundreds of millions of pounds, a study has said.
The two-year study, dubbed Project Acumen, revealed that prostitutes live and work in appalling conditions and suffer rape and imprisonment.

Most of the trafficked women were from Eastern Europe, China and Southeast Asia. They were under thousands of pounds of debt and controlled by threats of violence to family members back home.

The large extent of migrant prostitution in England and Wales was revealed by research for the Association of Chief Police Officers.

The study said that 30,000 women are working in brothels across Britain.

Police estimate that 17,000 of them are immigrants and believe that 11,800 of the foreign women may have been trafficked into the country.

There are around 6,000 brothels in England and Wales. Most are in London followed by Yorkshire and Humberside.

Daily Express quoted Immigration Minister Damian Green as saying: “Human trafficking is a brutal form of organised crime where people are traded as commodities and exploited for profit by criminal gangs.

“Combating trafficking and looking after its victims is a priority for the new Government. In order to combat trafficking more effectively we need to understand it better.”

Nottinghamshire Deputy Chief ­Constable Chris Eyre said: “Human ­trafficking for sexual exploitation involves the most extreme abuse of individuals.”

It has been estimated that crime gangs make 250 million pounds a year from prostitution.

The study found that around 5,000 of the foreign prostitutes had suspected, long before they left home, that they were likely to end up working in the sex industry.

Eyre said: “We now have a better picture of the extent of trafficking and will look to support from Government to ensure we work effectively with all agencies to make the UK a more ­hostile environment for traffickers.”

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