ATLEU commends the work of the Freedom Charity in assisting 3 women to escape 30 years of slavery. ATLEU's experience confirms charity founder Aneeta Prem's comment that:
"Extraordinary as this particular case was, enforced domestic slavery is not unique in the UK, although it is often hard to detect, hidden as it is behind closed doors on ordinary streets in ordinary towns and cities."
Domestic workers who enter the UK since 6 April 2012 and suffer similar conditions find it exceptionally difficult to access any form of support or redress due to the changes to the overseas domestic worker visa and legal aid since 1 April 2013.
Representing vulnerable workers such as these is a specialist area and there is currently very limited provision, especially outside of London.
We hope that this case will force the Government to look at the needs of victims suffering in similar circumstance. In particular we call for the reinstatement of the overseas domestic worker visa which could protect so many vulnerable workers and prevent the recurrence of similar situations to that seen here.
We also urge the Government to reconsider their proposals to further cut legal aid which will deprive so many who have been kept in slavery from seeking redress.
Read The Guardian article 'How tiny charity uncovered Britain's most extreme case of domestic slavery' by Patrick Butler and Owen Bowcott (Thursday 21 November 2013).