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(WNN) Denver, Colorado, UNITED STATES, AMERICAS: Three women have been rescued from 30+ years of domestic slavery in London as their two 67-year-old captors have been arrested by Scotland Yard in what police say is a groundbreaking case of alleged human trafficking. The carefully orchestrated rescue came over a few weeks for the women after one of them watched a televised documentary covering the topic of forced marriage that included London-based Freedom Charity director Aneeta Prem outlining in the documentary what to look for in these cases. After watching the documentary she called Aneeta Prem’s organization.
Freedom Charity, an organization that works predominately with youth based in London. Founded by Prem, the organization works to raise awareness and encourage swift action to stop human servitude and slavery, child abuse and what they call “dis-honor” based family violence, all conditions that most often surround forced marriages.
“Freedom believes we all should be entitled to choose who we wish to marry. This is a basic human right and in the UK appropriate measures are in place to ensure the safety and protection of its most vulnerable citizens,” the organization outlines.
After the phone call was made to Freedom Charity the p0lice at Scotland Yard were contacted immediately. From there the police carefully worked to secretly communicate and negotiate with the women to ultimately enable them to walk out themselves from the home they had been held captive in for decades.
The names of the three women have not yet been released but their ages and nationality have been. From the oldest to youngest they are: a 69-year-old Malaysian woman, a 57-year-old woman from Ireland and a 30-year-old from Great Britain.
Although the investigation is in process and not all the facts in the case have been revealed, it is thought by police on the case that the youngest woman may have been living in the house under a condition of servitude her entire life.
The three women stayed in the innocuous home in a quiet neighborhood in South London without leaving their captors over the long years because of a great fear of reprisals from their captors, conveyed Prem to the press.
“[They were] very restricted on everything they could do,” Prem outlined.
The International Labour Organization estimates currently that 20.9 million victims of forced labor now exist worldwide. Domestic work is considered one of the most frequently cited forms of global labor victimization.
“When live-in domestic workers are kept in isolation, with restrictions on their freedom of movement, extreme imbalances of power can develop which can lead into situations of forced labour. Forced labour can occur when means of coercion are imposed on domestic workers to prevent them from leaving the employment situation,” said reporter Asha D’Souza for the ILO in 2010.
“All three women, who were highly traumatized, were taken to a place of safety where they remain,” said the police in a public statement.
“[The force has] never seen anything of this magnitude,” said Metropolitan Police investigator on human trafficking Kevin Hyland during a recent press conference at Scotland Yard.
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