SECRET DIARY WRITER lets off steam…

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.

Definition: TRAFFICKING                                                                                    

 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…….

Definition: SMUGGLING     

  • 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!


5 thoughts on “SECRET DIARY WRITER lets off steam…

  1. Rich


    Thanks for the posting and thanks for making things clearer for me now. I know from a few newspaper articles I read in the past that journos like to merge the two definitions, thus making it difficult to define genuine cases of trafficking. Your letting off steam is really helpful to me and I am sure many others think the same. I regularly check out your blog as it is a great source of information, keep up the good work!



  2. Rants are a good thing when they lead to change – and this is the kind of change we need! I’ll keep my eyes peeled – and (while I’m commenting) thanks for the blog as a whole – I am frequently moved / interested / challenged by what’s written in it.

  3. Glad you are enjoying the blog post. I am experimenting with Twitter too but think I will abandon that as a project today!

    Incidentally, if you or anyone else writes a letter to their local press and it gets printed, let me know and I can whack it on the blog!

  4. Concerned

    Stop the traffick is a very good source of information and a worthy organization to get on board. It is quite alarming to learn of the many people who are trafficked each day and the inhumane conditions under which they work. However, human trafficking has gone up a notch on the ladder. It is getting more sophisticated and is not immune to the teaching profession. In Kuwait there is a company that operates a conglomerate of business of which education facilities is one of their core business. This company operated under the name IPE, which was changed to Nafais Holdings since 2007. All legal change over took place yet the company contiues to recruit in its former name. The teachers who have been recruited in 2008 and 2009 worked the entire year without legal working status,and promised benefits as per their contract as many of them have been on visit visa. That’s the mild case, the most difficult and dangerous cases are the women who were given contract from countries not on the list that allows them to obtain visit visa at the airport. These women were forced to live in hiding from the law, they are not able to access healthcare, their degrees and passport were taken for the better part of the school year to prevent them from leaving the country. The persons who are illegal will be required to pay a fine before leaving which is growing to considerable sum by the day. The principals from these schools are going to England, Thialand, New Zealand and Australia recruiting at the time this is written. They also enlist agencies in USA and Canada to recruit teachers on their behalf. Problems are brewing for teachers who are leaving at the end of the school year, as they are unable to access police certificate for the year they work in Kuwait. The company continues to engage in this operation as it is quite lucrative for the, as in this way they will not be able to be brought to the books as their operation is in a company’s name that no longer have a file in any of the ministries in Kuwait. No suit can be filed against a closed company so they have not taken any step to legalize the business because they have given contract to existing staff in the old company’s name this year.
    Is this not a form of human trafficking if someone is lied to, and coerced in a job that fails to fulfil its promises? Is there a way, these people can be investigated and be made to pay for all the injustices meeted to all the teachers who work in their schools?

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