* The women mostly sold by these Arabs are largely black women from Africa — sold for $800
* The unidentified African women are sold on an application known as ‘For Sale app’ provided by Apple and Google
* If Google, Apple, Facebook or any other companies are hosting apps like this, they have to be held accountable—UN Special Rapporteur
A British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) uncovers modern day slave trade practices in Kuwait, Arab Gulf and Dubai in which African women and house maids are being sold in Kuwait, Arab Gulf and Dubai in an online slave market.
The documentary, done by BBC’s undercover team who posed as a couple wanting to buy a slave that was advertised online, has gone viral on social media.
In her report on BBC online on Thursday, October 27 by Joy Bakare says the women mostly sold by these Arabs are largely black women from Africa — sold for $800.
The undercover team put a call through to the seller and fixed a day to see the maid and when they got to the seller’s house, they got to know that the slave is a 16-year-old girl from Ghana.
“The journalists stated that by employing a maid below the age of 21, the woman (seller) was breaking Kuwaiti laws and could face up to six months imprisonment,” said the BBC report.
The unidentified African women are sold on an application known as ‘For Sale app’ provided by Apple and Google, which is also an app used to sell cars and other goods.
Joy Bakare reached out to Urmila Bhoola — United Nations Special Rapporteur-Contemporary Forms of Slavery — who watched the documentary and declared that companies who host apps used for these slave trades will be held responsible.
Bhoola is quoted as saying: “This is a quintessential example of modern day slavery. Here we see a child being sold like a piece of property.
“What they are doing is illegal and it is not only is violation of national Kuwait laws, it is a violation of international human rights law and labour standings.
“If Google, Apple, Facebook or any other companies are hosting apps like this, they have to be held accountable. What they are doing is promoting an online slave market.”
A report on UK’s Bucks Radio on Thursday appealed to members of the British public to look out for the signs of human trafficking and modern slavery following this year’s Anti-Slavery Day.
The report said Anti-Slavery Networks in the Thames Valley region held a conference in Oxford on this year’s Anti-Slavery Day, which is marked on the 18th October each year.
“Attendees heard from experts on the subject and shared information and best practice, encouraging everyone to think about what they can do to protect victims of modern-day slavery and exploitation.
“It is estimated that around 136,000 people in the UK are trapped in conditions of modern slavery which can affect anyone regardless of age, sex, ethnicity or gender.”
The report further asked the British public to look out for the key signs of modern slavery, which include:
* Appearance: Victims may show signs of physical or psychological abuse, look malnourished or unkempt, or appear withdrawn;
* Isolation: Victims may rarely be allowed to travel on their own, seem under the control, influence of others, rarely interact or appear unfamiliar with their neighbourhood or where they work;
* Poor living conditions: Victims may be living in dirty, cramped or overcrowded accommodation, and/or be living and working at the same address;
* Few or no personal belongings: Victims may have no identification documents, have few personal possessions and always wear the same clothes day in day out. What clothes they do wear may not be suitable for their work;
* Restricted freedom of movement: Victims have little opportunity to move freely and may have had their passports retained;
* Unusual travel times: They may be dropped off/collected for work on a regular basis either very early or late at night; and
* Reluctance to seek help: Victims may avoid eye contact, appear frightened or hesitant to talk to strangers and fear law enforcers for many reasons, such as not knowing who to trust or where to get help, fear of deportation, fear of violence to them or their family.
Bucks Radio quotes Steve Bowles, Cabinet Member for Communities, as saying: “Modern slavery is happening right here and now, and we want to make sure people know the signs to look out for and know how to raise the alarm.
“No-one should have to live that way and we are committed to working together with our partners to support victims and stamp out modern slavery for good.”
The report said the Police and Crime Commissioner has set up a specialist unit to support work around modern slavery by setting up victims first specialist service (VFSS), which provides specialist support for victims and witnesses of exploitation and modern slavery.
“The service employs exploitation specialists to work with victims often in long-term interventions to help them rebuild their lives.
For more information to support the public in spotting signs for other forms of exploitation, including child exploitation, can be found online: www.modernslaveryhelpline.org/about/spot-the-signs