Well, I suppose this is better than 100,000 in the nail bars

“By our calculations there are around 3,000 Vietnamese children in the UK who are being used for profit by criminal gangs,” says Philip Ishola, former head of the UK’s Counter Human Trafficking Bureau.

I do not say that this is a good thing. But it’s certainly better than hte 100,000 number we’ve seen bandied about, isn’t it?

This still doesn’t ring true though:

Hien’s story is not unique. He is one of an estimated 3,000 Vietnamese children in forced labour in the UK, used for financial gain by criminal gangs running cannabis factories, nail bars, garment factories, brothels and private homes.

Brothels? The claim is now that there are children in brothels?

That’s not really the sort of thing that’s actually going to survive in a culture and country like Britain. Not at any scale at least.

Slavery is vile, child slavery also so. And while the numbers here are obviously too high if they are real, at least they’re at some sort of believable level rather than the exoitically ridiculous numbers we’ve been presented with in the past.

26 thoughts on “Well, I suppose this is better than 100,000 in the nail bars”

  1. So Much for Subtlety

    Hien’s story is not unique. He is one of an estimated 3,000 Vietnamese children in forced labour in the UK, used for financial gain by criminal gangs running cannabis factories, nail bars, garment factories, brothels and private homes.

    So Hien is a slave is he? Not much of one it seems:

    He became homeless after his “uncle” abandoned him. He slept in parks and ate out of bins.

    Who abandons their property on the streets like that? Could there be any other cause for Hien’s claims. Let’s see, we have an illegal immigrant who is guilty of drug offenses. Common sense would suggest that this meant a quick flight back to Vietnam on the next available plane. So naturally that is not what happened. And no, it isn’t:

    Hien is trying to rebuild his life after being given asylum in Scotland, but is struggling to find peace after years of trauma. “I still worry that the traffickers may find me and come to my house. But I know this time that I will ask for help,” he says.

    He was given asylum. Because, you know, this non-existent slavers might catch him in Vietnam and sell him for spring rolls or something. How f**ki ng stupid does the British government and the Guardian have to be? Of course a criminal who does not want to go back to whatever repressive sh!thole he came from is going to get a lawyer who will tell him how to stay. What sort of morons are they?

    “I think they have justice here but I wish they hadn’t kept me in prison for so long. By telling my story, I want people to understand what I have experienced here.”

    And he has to rub it in too! Not only were we wrong to jail him for selling illegal drugs – which of course he denies any knowledge of – but we are such mean people for keeping him in jail for so long. No doubt we are back paying his dole money as a form of compensation.

    If God did not want us to be shorn, he would not have made us sheep.

  2. Note the quote doesn’t actually claim that children are working in brothels, and certainly does not claim that they are working as prostitutes, but merely that they are working for gangs who (among other things) run brothels.

    Surely it would only be an exceptionally stupid criminal who had under age children working in a UK brothel these days; unless the economic gains were huge, it wouldn’t be worth the risks.

    Doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen of course, there is no shortage of stupidity, but even if the 3,000 figure is true, the number of them working in brothels, even as cleaners, is likely to be tiny.

    Which of course won’t stop the 3,000 working for illegal gangs being referred to as 3,000 working in prostitution.

  3. SMFS: ‘How f**ki ng stupid does the British government and the Guardian have to be?’

    I’m confident we haven’t yet plumbed the depths of their idiocy.

  4. One wonders exactly what the nationality of the people who ‘own’ these 3000 slaves are. Perhaps they could be another benefit of diversity?

  5. If slavery figures were accurate even to one order of magnitude, slavery could be stopped. We would know where to target resources. But we don’t, because we just don’t know.

  6. If an objective group of investigators could be found it might be possible to get to the truth in this field.

    That is highly unlikely as so many groups are pushing so many power and money-seeking agendas. Coppers, hate-spewing abuse-trade feminists, political scum wanting more power both at local, national and international levels, anti-sex religionists, liars ( such as the individual above) trying to get out from under or trying to create their own cottage industry such as Somaly Mam (now exposed as a liar and fraudster).

    Frankly to suggest that one small country like Vietnam has 3000 “sex slaves” in the UK is to suggest that there would have to be tens of thousands in total here from all nations. In short it is another attempt to peddle the sick sex fantasies of the above named groups using smaller figures in the hope of the whole nonsense sounding more “realistic”.

  7. “Surely it would only be an exceptionally stupid criminal who had under age children working in a UK brothel these days; unless the economic gains were huge, it wouldn’t be worth the risks.”

    Unless you’re a Pakistani muslim in which case the police and the local council will ignore it for more than a decade… (and try to prosecute anyone who might point this out…)

  8. ‘an exceptionally stupid criminal who had under age children working in a UK brothel these days’

    Taking your point, but it is highly likely that the intelligence curve of criminals is highly loaded towards the bottom of the scale.

  9. Doug: This is a country where those with paedo fantasies (never mind actual fiddlers) are in fear of what is on their computers being found out. Where old men with dementia are jailed on the basis of unsupported allegations from up to 60 years ago. Are we really supposed to believe that there are probably several hundred brothels (divide into 3000 ) who are offering (just?) Vietnamese children to any paedo who walks in off the street? To believe that such an operation would not be running colossal daily risks of discovery? With those involved in it (let alone running it) knowing that if caught they would get so much jail time they would need a lift in the TARDIS to have any chance of completing their sentence. Such activities would not be a function of stupidity some much as a death-wish. If such activities were going on –which they aren’t.

    Yes I know–Rotherham. But that was an in-group caper–with special politically-provided protection. They weren’t trying to run an underground business taking on every customer who shows up. Just their pals and on a much smaller scale than this alleged “3000 Vietnamese children” nonsense.

  10. Doug,

    “Taking your point, but it is highly likely that the intelligence curve of criminals is highly loaded towards the bottom of the scale.”

    True, but they aren’t that stupid. The decline of armed robbery is the result of smaller hauls and greater likelihood of capture. There’s still lots of people dealing weed because the risk/reward is worth it.

    That’s why most brothels are massage parlours with legal women doing extras. You might get a suspended sentence for living off immoral earnings, but child prostitution will get you 10-15 years.

  11. Leaving aside the sex issue, even from a purely economic viewpoint why bring in kids as “slave” workers? They will need more attention than adults, their work will be far less productive and they will be far more conspicuous wherever they go. Not to mention Child Labour laws. Women mostly visit nailbars and women aren’t known for their lack of curiosity.

    Are they all orphans? If not have their parents allowed them to travel as migrant workers? Perhaps we are supposed to believe that their parents sold them into slavery. People being what they are children have been sold before but thousands of them? Especially in a time of increasing prosperity as Vietnam is on the up thanks to markets beginning there.

    In short where are all these kids supposedly being obtained by these gangs? And why import less effective workers who will get you in more trouble if you are found out?

    What kids are good for is generating bogus sob stories for deceitful power and money seeking groups.

  12. Mr Ecks,

    Well, it does sound like he was in a cannabis farm and doing the job. And maybe he was 13. But the whole “travelling 5 years over land” sounds like utter bullshit. If the kid is going to be sold into rich, western slavery, wouldn’t you invest in a truck and try and get him to the UK a lot quicker? Even over land you could do it in 2 months.

    And thinking about it, does anyone buy these “£25000” sums to smuggle people? Let’s assume I’m a Vietnamese people smuggler. I can get 10-12 people in the back of a van. That’s £250K for a successful smuggle – 100 times the average GDP/capita of someone in Vietnam, serious money. Like someone being offered £4m in the UK to do the job How quickly would you get a lot of competition to reduce the price?

    But let’s even assume that’s the market price. What Vietnamese guy is going to take on £25K of risk on something that can run away and get them into trouble? You’re going to have a full-time job trying to stop them escaping. Wouldn’t it be easier to just to keep them as sex slaves/workers in Vietnam or sell them to arabs who seem to think slavery is pretty much OK?

  13. Stigler: “What Vietnamese guy is going to take on £25K of risk on something that can run away and get them into trouble?”

    Exactly. for the same money you can get someone on minimum wage for 18 months. Do cannabis farms have a time horizon of more than 2 weeks?

  14. Stig>

    You have it the wrong way up. Extended families and communities will band together to invest in paying for the trip for one member, who then normally is regarded as having an obligation to repay the debt and send extra money home.

    As for the competition issue, there’s clearly more demand than supply, hence the fairly high price. I’d speculate that the barriers to entry are higher than you think, but I have no hard proof of that. Perhaps it requires a fairly large criminal organisation to span the globe in the manner necessary.

  15. .” Extended families and communities will band together to invest in paying for the trip for one member”

    A child?

  16. Dave,

    “You have it the wrong way up. Extended families and communities will band together to invest in paying for the trip for one member, who then normally is regarded as having an obligation to repay the debt and send extra money home.”

    That I can believe. I’m questioning this “people trafficker holding a debt”.

    “As for the competition issue, there’s clearly more demand than supply, hence the fairly high price. I’d speculate that the barriers to entry are higher than you think, but I have no hard proof of that. Perhaps it requires a fairly large criminal organisation to span the globe in the manner necessary.”

    For 100 times the national wage for a trip, that’s a lot of incentive for people to increase supply. And I really doubt you need much of a criminal organisation.

  17. As I’ve said before, this is a by-the-numbers rerun of the White Slave Panic of a century ago (also the Social Purity Movement behind it). Except the “white” slaves it’s now “ethnic” slaves. But otherwise, identical.

  18. Stig>

    As I said, I think you underestimate the difficulties. Smuggling someone from France to England is pretty trivial, but those smugglers earn much less. To ship someone all the way around the world is harder, more expensive, and requires a global network of criminals to pull off – not least because they’re not just dumping the illegals off the boat here, but finding them under-the-table work, providing fake papers, and so-on.

    As for the debt, it wouldn’t seem too outlandish to me that a part of the payment to the trafficker is in the form of labour – like an indentured servant. And there it’s not so much a matter of stopping someone escaping, as that people are either intimidated by threats to their families back home, or are scared of being caught and sent back if they set up on their own, or they don’t speak any English, or… it’s not hard to imagine other things of that nature.

  19. So Vietnamese families will invest $25k to get a member of their family into a western country like the UK where they then work in the lowest paid job possible. Yeah, I can see them clamouring for that. Even if they came for the benefits, it still wouldn’t be worthwhile. Either Vietnamese are very stupid and the criminals very clever to have set up a massive trafficking operation or its all a load of bull.

  20. SBML>

    Unfortunately the maths works just fine, and that is indeed how it goes in many cases. 60 hours a week for a year is 3000 hours. At £5 an hour, that’s £15k. For someone from a poor part of Vietnam, that’s quite possibly more cash than their entire village sees in a year.

    Borrow the money to come here, work all the hours there are for a few years, then go home, pay everyone back, and set yourself up as the rich man in your village. Or that’s the dream, anyway.

  21. This looks like the old tried and tested research tecnnique known as “making the numbers up”.

  22. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Nope, sorry, Ecks hit the nail on the head: if there’s three thousand Vietnamese trafficked here as slaves/indentured servants/prostitutes/manicurists then where are the Thais, Burmese, Laotians, Cambodians, Malays, Indonesians, Nepalese and Filipinos? It’s ridiculous bollocks and obviously so.

  23. Vietnam/Cambodia must be a paedos wet dream because half the 20 year old girls look about 12. Why bother prostituting the kids when the adults look like that?

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