British men forced into ‘modern slavery’ abroad (01/02/2012)

Une enquête de la BBC a mis en lumière un trafic d’esclaves entre la Grande Bretagne et plusieurs pays d’Europe dont la Suède, la Norvège et la Belgique.. Les victimes, SDF, alcooliques ou drogués étaient repérés par un gang. Alléchés par la promesse d’un travail bien rémunéré, ils étaient emmenés à l’étranger et forcés à des travaux de terrassement sans aucune rémunération, vivant dans des conditions misérables. 32 personnes seraient concernées.

Criminal elements of the British and Irish travelling community have been transporting vulnerable British men abroad to work as virtual slaves.

An investigation by the BBC Ten O’Clock News and Radio 5 Live Breakfast has uncovered at least 32 victims.

The European Commission describes it as modern slavery and says this is the tip of the iceberg.

There have been confirmed cases in six European countries, including Sweden, Norway and Belgium.

The gangs pick vulnerable men off the streets in the UK, who are often homeless and many have drink or drugs problems.

They are promised well-paid work, but are then transported abroad where they are forced into long, hard days tarmacking or paving driveways for little or no money.

One man the BBC spoke to had arrived in the Swedish port of Malmo with two other Britons who all had been homeless when they were picked up. He has asked not to be named, because he fears for his safety.

The men worked 14-hour days for little or no pay and lived in appalling, cramped conditions. They were too frightened to escape, until the Swedish police offered them help. He says there was a culture of violence.

“I’ve seen people threatened with pickaxes. I’ve seen people kicked, punched. I’ve nearly been pushed off a moving vehicle. It’s very tense. You’re waiting for the next thing to happen, ” he says.

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