The year 2007 may have marked the bicentenary of the abolition of slavery, but the reality is that many people around the world are living in conditions of forced labour or slavery. In her book Enslaved: The New British Slavery, Rahila Gupta gets in contact with five modern day slaves and convinces them to share their stories. These are heartbreaking and shocking tales that expose the hidden and invisible world of modern day slavery. All of these testimonies were obtained in England, so this is not simply a "third world problem" that we can sweep under a rug; it is happening in our neighbourhoods.
The book includes the testimonies of five modern day slaves:
1. Farhia Nur was from Somalia. She tells the story of how she was subjected to the most severe type of female genital mutilation, infibulation, when she was only eight-years-old. She was just seventeen years of age when war broke out in Somalia and she found herself unable to return home from her place of work where she helped out with household chores. Once dependent on her employers, they stopped paying her, and one of the men in the family began to sexually assault her. She was eventually trafficked to England and began a long process of seeking asylum while repeatedly being subjected to further exploitation and unpaid labor.
2. Natasha Bulova originally came from Samara in Soviet Union. Natasha responded to an offer to work abroad and was trafficked to Brussels via Frankfurt. On arrival in Brussels she was sexually assaulted and forced into prostitution. When she tried to leave, she was informed that she was deeply in debt with her pimp for the costs of her transportation, visas and passport. After a particularly vicious attack by a client, she was sold to a pimp in London who also assaulted her repeatedly and forced her to work as a prostitute. Eventually, she was caught in a police raid and began the process of seeking asylum.