Because refugees are usually extremely vulnerable, they are at risk of being targeted by criminal gangs and drawn into modern slavery and exploitation.
Last summer, the British Red Cross and UNHCR published a joint report At risk: exploitation and the UK highlighting the many reasons why refugees and asylum seekers are particularly vulnerable to exploitation.
It cited, amongst other things,
- a lack of community support networks
- the way refugees often end up socially and culturally isolated
- a lack of basic resources
- few opportunities to work and support themselves and their families.
These factors leave refugees and people seeking asylum at serious risk of being drawn into exploitation.
The report also shared accounts of victims of modern slavery being placed into hostel-type accommodation in inappropriate locations, getting kidnapped and re-trafficked. It makes sobering reading.