We all need to take a stand against the scourge of modern slavery, Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner says.
Tony Lloyd was speaking out following the conviction of three people in a case that involved the trafficking of a 10-year-old girl into the UK.
The girl, who is deaf and unable to speak, was then kept essentially as a domestic slave in her Salford home and repeatedly raped by Ilyas Ashar, 84, of Cromwell Road, Eccles over the course of a decade.
The victim was brought into the UK in 2000. Despite her ordeal, the victim, who was found by police sleeping in a cot in a cellar, has grown into a confident and well-adjusted young woman since being rescued.
Ashar was found guilty at Minshull Street Crown Court on Wednesday 16 October of 16 counts of rape.
Tony said: “We can’t begin to imagine the horrors that this young woman had to endure over a period of years. I hope she can find some comfort that justice has been done.
“It is remarkable that the victim in this case has come through this ordeal and has grown into a strong, confident young woman who started the process of rebuilding her life. I wish her well for the future.”
This Friday is Anti-Slavery Day, which is intended to highlight the stark reality of modern slavery. Across the world it’s thought there are 21 million people living in slavery. There could be up to 4,000 of these modern slaves right here in our country. This is big business, as the human trafficking trade is worth about £130m to the UK’s black economy.
Tony added: “It is shocking to think that in 21st Century Britain there are people who are trafficked into this country to act as nothing more than slaves. All right-thinking people will be appalled and we must all make a stand together against this barbaric practice.
“These convictions should send out a strong message to those whose warped world view considers it acceptable to keep slaves that they will be pursued, they will be found and they will be brought to justice.”
Tony also backs plans by the Home Secretary, Theresa May, to introduce a Modern Slavery Bill to parliament which will make it easier to prosecute the slave drivers and do more to protect victims.
Tony added: “This is a welcome step and I would urge the government to move quickly to introduce this legislation. By working together we can end this blight on our society.”
Ashar had earlier been found guilty of two counts of trafficking people for exploitation and three offences under the Social Security Act at an earlier trial.
His wife, Tallat Ashar (21/05/45) of Cromwell St, Eccles, was found guilty at an earlier trial of two counts of trafficking people for exploitation and seven offences under the Social Security Act.
Faazia Ashar (24/12/67) of Milton Rd, Eccles, was found guilty at an earlier trial of three offences under the Social Security Act.
They will be sentenced on 23 October.