Mandy Baker Johnson

Living without Shadows

Tag: Slavery

30 Seconds

We shuffled into our hotel room with relief, dumping our bags in a corner. I headed for the bathroom to fill the kettle; I’d been looking forward to this cup of tea since London Bridge tube station. Adi stretched out on the bed and was soon dozing.

We’d been up the Shard, enjoying the view over the city. It was perfect: blue sky with fluffy white cotton-wool clouds. Glorious.

It was good to chill in our hotel room.

Oh, nearly forgot. There was something I needed to do. I turfed Adi off the bed and took four photos: two of the whole room from different angles, one of the bathroom, and one of the bed. I uploaded them to TraffickCam. It took 30 seconds. No big deal for me, but it might be for someone else….

Because this hotel room that to me is a friendly, restful, safe haven can mean something entirely different to another woman.

What if I was there against my will? Suppose I’d been lured by false promises and conned by a merciless and skilled manipulator who only wanted to sell me to the highest bidder? Suppose instead of flopping contentedly on the mattress after a fun day sightseeing I was positioned suggestively on the bed and photographed?

I hate trafficking.

I hate that wicked people capture others into slavery and make millions of pounds out of it. This is wrong. This is evil. I want to see human trafficking stopped.

Trafficking takes place in every country of the world. White, black, brown – all races and types of people are affected. White British people are being trafficked by white British people within Britain. The colour of a person’s skin doesn’t make them invulnerable to being trafficked.

And so I took 30 seconds out of my weekend break to take and upload four photos through the TraffickCam app on my smartphone. The police and anti-trafficking organisations can use these photos to trace victims of human trafficking.

If you are reading this post, please go one little step further and download this app to your smartphone and use it whenever you stay in a hotel anywhere in the world. 30 seconds could mean a lifetime to one person.

People shouldn’t be bought and sold. Let’s do our bit to end the horror of human trafficking.

 

Slavery in the UK?

This Home Office advert has reminded me of the reality that there are slaves in the UK (I don’t mean people working for minimum wage either but actual slaves). These are people held against their will, living in harsh conditions and treated badly. It might be happening behind a ‘respectable’ front door where you would least expect it. Forced into a life of domestic servitude or prostitution or hard labour. It’s wrong and needs to be stopped. Let’s keep our eyes and ears open.

The National UK Slavery Hotline is 0800 0121 700.

I first became aware of the issue by reading a book last April called Refuse to do Nothing.

Refuse to do nothing about modern-day slavery.

 

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