Story from Isobel McFarlane, Media Officer, Salvation Army
Adam is a young Slovakian man who was originally trafficked into the UK in 2009 when a ‘friend’ offered him good work in the UK. When he arrived he was forced to work very long hours in a chicken factory but his trafficker only paid him a minimal sum of around £10 to £20 a week. He also took Adam’s identity documents and mostly provided very little food, often just a slice of bread and some beans a day. When Adam threatened him with the police he received promises that his money would be forthcoming but this never happened. When his documents were eventually returned, Adam travelled back to Slovakia for a while. Once again he succumbed to an offer of work in the UK, this time, with promises of much better pay and conditions.
Once again the promises were unfounded and this time Adam’s treatment was much worse – he was moved from place to place, along with large numbers of other victims; fraudulent bank accounts and mobile phone contracts were taken out in his name and again he was forced to work long hours in poor conditions for little or no money.
Eventually Adam and a friend decided that they could no longer bear their life and took an opportunity to escape by telling their work supervisor that they felt ill and needed to go back to their lodgings. Instead they ran to the nearest fast food restaurant where they contracted the police and were told to wait there until someone from the Gangmasters Licensing Association (GLA) arrived for them. As they waited they were petrified that their trafficker would come looking for them and stared from the windows to spot his car. Fortunately they were safely received by the GLA who referred Adam to The Salvation Army who found him accommodation and support at City Hearts. He stayed here for a period of rest and recuperation before being helped to find and move into independent accommodation before Christmas 2012.
Adam describes his trafficker as ‘a very clever man’ who deceived and abused him. Adam is learning English, studying, and continuing to work with City Hearts on securing employment. He is very positive about his future prospects.