You would think that journalists over the world – people who are responsible (and paid) to keep us up-to-date with global news – would make sure what they were reporting was accurate.
This morning my lovely colleague Simon came in saying ‘did you read the paper? Three trafficked women have been rescued from domestic servitude in London’.
The story read that three brothers married three Pakistani women as arranged marriages. The women were flown into the UK expecting to lead normal happy lives with their husbands.
Upon arrival, they discovered that their husbands were already married and the women were sent to live with their new mother in law where they were forced to cook, clean, sew … (i.e. domestic servitude)
They were not allowed out, had no freedom and regularly beaten. The situation came to light 13 years after they arrived in the UK when one of the women’s sons turned to a nursery teacher and said ‘granny beats mummy’.
The people in question are being charged with something like kidnapping / abduction.
Dislocation by deception or coercion for exploitation (moved by being forced or tricked into a situation of exploitation)
Three women thinking they were getting a good deal, moved abroad and exploited….. Sounds like trafficking to me.
The word ‘trafficked’ did not feature ANYWHERE in the article.
From previous research, I know that news stories in England (even the BBC!), Canada, America, United Arab Emirates, India, Moldova, Israel [please insert the name of any country you can think of here]… have mixed up smuggling / kidnapping / illegal immigration and trafficking.
So, to help clarify…….
- illegal immigration – entering or staying illegally in a country
- middle men – people who help organise staying or moving illegally for money
- a WILLLING PERSON who asks for help crossing a border or help staying in a country illegally
Obviously there are similarities between trafficking and smuggling. Traffickers often smuggle victims across borders illegally BUT smuggling is limited to helping people arrive / stay. Upon arrival, smuggled people are left and not controlled by the organisation who facilitated their entry / stay. This can change and smugglers could turn into traffickers but then it is not smuggling it is TRAFFICKING….. Does that make sense?
To make progress in law, policy and public awareness these mix ups have got to stop. They confuse people and help hide the scale and extent of trafficking
So, lovely readers, I hereby challenge you to keep your eyes open and when your local / national / international press get these differences confused, write to the journalists and newspapers explaining the differences so they can accurately report what they are writing about in future.
If this does not make sense to anyone and the differences are confusing in any way, or if you have any questions, post a comment and I will get back to you!