Unaccompanied Asylum Seekers and The UK Sex Trade.

Posted on 14th January 2021

How tabloid journalism is disregarding the prominence and severity of the UK’s Sex trade, specifically with unnacompanied asylum seekers.

Many newspapers flaunt headline terminology such as 'Chinese brothel Workers, Prostitutes' etc. as clickbait to solidify and offer a racially charged standpoint on the involvement of vulnerable young adults seeking asylum and ending up in the trade. These statements perpetuate the narrative that these individuals are criminally associated and the cause of the problem. The reality is that the anonymous buyers and sellers are the issue, with these individuals merely the pawn in a much bigger, inhumane, capitalist game. Whilst researching for this post, I was shocked and disturbed that the related searches to 'U.K. Sex Trade' was, 'prostitutes near me U.K. / London'; 'where do sex workers advertise'; 'sex workers in London'. This further demonstrates the notion that those who are seeking sex workers, who typically are involved in illegal trafficking rings, are in fact, the issue at hand. 

The prominent territories for involvement in the sex trade according to the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2016 are Cambodia, Lao, Thailand and Malaysia. The women and children involved are used for sexual exploitation to line the pockets of faceless men/gangs and are picked out from impoverished communities. Being sold a dream of financially bettering the family, unfortunately, leads to selling their bodies. A term used to describe these women that I found both grating and ironic was 'displaced people' when there is no question that they have been picked and placed meticulously into unthinkable, dehumanising environments.

With tabloids still using outdated terminology such as 'prostitutes', the negative stigma and connotations continue to remain prevalent in individuals thoughts, causing sex workers to be seen as disposable or 'less than' someone who is not within that trade. With those who are shipped into the U.K., by no choice of their own, this narrative is imperative in the treatment and abuse these women face. Both domestic and sexual abuse/exploitation is considered unacceptable when the victim is of caucasian descent, why is it seemingly different for those who are not? 

Putting a monetary value on anatomy, age, and even location for 'attractiveness' and 'desirability' should be something that is unheard of and fought against; unfortunately, this is not the case. According to the U.S. government of State's 2020 Trafficking in Persons Report: China, the PRC's government is not only not meeting the 'minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, but is not making significant efforts to change it'. If a government cannot protect women and children, we can only imagine the horrific things they face in the ring. Just two years ago, the Essex Lorry Death case had the nation stunned, with 39 victims of human trafficking left for dead in the back of a truck at the hands of Christopher Kennedy, a 23-year-old man from Northern Ireland. From this heinous crime, amongst many more, it is clear that illegal sex rings are prolific and still very much active, an issue that needs immediate addressing and reconciles.

Whilst the identity of the kingpins of these schemes typically remain intentionally unknown, the women's identities are stripped away from them, leaving them as a vulnerable shell for sexual dispense. Help us expose these criminals and protect the most vulnerable in our society. If you know of anyone that needs to escape such a situation, please notify the U.K. police or contact us directly for more information on how to handle the situation. 

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