1:00pm Monday 11th March 2013
By Geoff Barnes
Birkenhead MP Frank Field has written to Prime Minister David Cameron calling for human trafficking be renamed ‘modern slavery’ to “open people’s eyes to the evil of the crime”.
There are more people trapped in modern slavery today than during the entire 350 year history of the slave trade. The International Labour Organisation has estimated that there are nearly 21m victims of modern slavery across the world.
In Britain, and the Western world, slavery has long been assumed to be a thing of the past, and governments unintentionally encourage this view by calling today’s slavery ‘human trafficking’.
As a result, many people do not recognise slavery or think of it as a present part of their own community.
Speaking at the launch of a major new report on modern slavery by the Centre for Social Justice, Mr Field claimed language was one tool that could be used to fight the trade.
He said: “We have developed ‘human trafficking’ as a euphemism to avoid the much more emotive but accurate term of modern slavery.
"I doubt whether Wilberforce [politician who lead the movement to abolish the slave trade] would have made much impression if his cry had been to abolish human trafficking.
"I have therefore written to the Prime Minister urging the government officially to adopt the term modern slavery so that this crime receives the attention it deserves. This is a vital first step in realising Wilberforce’s dream of freeing Britain of slavery.
“Indeed President Obama has stated that human trafficking “must be called by its true name: modern slavery”.
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