Nineteen Victims of Human Trafficking Released in Britain
Monday, October 3, 2005 4:35 PM

On Thursday September 29, 2005, police raided Cuddles massage parlor in Birmingham, Britain.  As a result of the raid nineteen women, believed to be victims of human trafficking, were freed from the institution.  The women were from Greece, Latvia, Turkey, Poland, Italy, Japan, and Hong Kong.  The police have reason to believe that the women were lured into Britain with promises of employment as nannies and waitresses, but instead were trafficked into the sex industry.  The women’s documents, such as passports, were likely confiscated to make it more difficult for the women to escape.  The women were locked at a house by day and brought to Cuddles at night.  Cuddles was secured with an electric fence behind the building and some boarded windows.  The police found a sawn-off shotgun and batons on the premises.


As of October 1, twelve of the women were expected to be released, while seven were being held pending checks of their immigration status.  There is concern over what happens to victims of trafficking after they are released.  One suggestion is to offer training to the women so that they will be able to find employment to support themselves and their families.  Otherwise it is possible that the women will once again fall victim to human trafficking.  Another concern is whether the victims will be welcomed into their community if their past is known.


While Amnesty International commends the raids, it insists that the United Kingdom must do more to counteract trafficking.  Amnesty encourages the United Kingdom to sign up for a new European convention on action against human trafficking.  The convention allows for the provision of emergency housing, medical care, and temporary residence permits for victims within the country they have been trafficked into.  The government, however, is resisting signing on because of concerns that the services will be abused and that people without a legitimate right to remain in England will do so.   


Compiled From:
19 Women Rescued from Brothel, BBC News, 30 September 2005.  

Police Free Sex Trade Women in Raid on Massage Parlour, The Guardian , 1 October 2005. 

19 Sex Slaves Rescued in Raid on Massage ParlourThe Times, 1 October 2005.