In something that reads like a horror story, it’s been discovered that a young Somali girl was smuggled into Britain for the sole purpose of selling her organs on the black market. The case came to light when a government report showed that human trafficking victims in the UK rose more than 50 percent. The 371 children trafficked were being used as slaves or sexually abused.
The Telegraph reports that child protection charities warned that criminal gangs were attempting to exploit the demand for organ transplants in Britain. In response to the claims Bharti Patel, the chief executive of Ecpat UK, the child protection charity, said: “Traffickers are exploiting the demand for organs and the vulnerability of children. It’s unlikely that a trafficker is going to take this risk and bring just one child into the UK. It is likely there was a group.”
The World Health Organization estimates that 7,000 kidneys are illegally obtained through organ harvesting around the world. Kidneys are the most popular because one can be removed without the patient experiencing any side effects.
The government’s report also found that there has been a rise in the number of adults trafficked to the UK, with the number of women rising by 12 per cent to 786 and the number of men by almost a third to 400. They include growing numbers of British men are being exploited for “paving or ground works” in this country or abroad.
Details of the scale of human trafficking in Britain were published as the government announced plans to give modern day slave drivers a maximum sentence.
Under the proposals, offenders who already have a conviction for a serious sexual or violent offence will receive an automatic life sentence. The current maximum custodial sentence for trafficking is 14 years.
James Brokenshire, crime and security minister, said: “Modern slavery is an appalling evil in our midst.”
“All this is a good start, but we need everyone to play a part – government, law enforcement, business, charities – if we are to consign slavery to the history books where it belongs.”