Almost 100 people have been arrested as part of raids on numerous “nail bars” in the UK. The shops are noted as having a high risk of having illegal workers. The Immigration minister Robert Goodwill has stated that slavery is a “Barbaric crime” and it is believed that many who work in such high risk industries are paid cash in hand and as such rarely receive the UK’s minimum wage. It is believed that many of these industries have high levels of people trafficked in to the country to actually perform the jobs.
Most of those found to be working illegally were originally from Vietnam. Operation magnify has been targeting high risk industries for illegal workers, and the raids took place before Christmas. It is well known that industries such as nail bars, car washes and agriculture are rife with illegal workers. But the problem is so vast, and immigration enforcement has such little resources, that raids like these are the only option. The try to scare businesses in to not using illegal staff by threatening fines of £20,000 per worker, and of course the persistent thought that one day the could be raided too.
Though many employers will still take their chances, with so few illegal workers caught, the system seems to work well for those who would use trafficked staff or indeed the people traffickers themselves, who have plenty of willing workers, and plenty of willing customers. It is down to law enforcement and the government to find the key to making these staff too hot to handle.
The worry for most is those who are trafficked in to the sex industry. The amount of young women being trafficked from outside of the EU is believed to be extremely high. The worry also extends to the fact that not only adults are trafficked in to the industry, there’s been a worrying trend of children trafficked, some of whom will be used in the sex industry.
It is hoped that raids of this kind can ensure that there is at least hope for those who have been kept as so called “modern slaves”, that there are people who are looking to protect them. It is also hoped that it may scare some people traffickers in to at least slowing down their activities, but this is unlikely due to the profitable business that they offer.
Joseph is a 34 year old freelance writer from London. He has a wide interest in politics and specialises in the subject. He's also a blog writer in his spare time.