Domestic Servitude Animation
The real-life story of a survivor of domestic servitude has become the inspiration behind a new online animation aimed at the communities of West Yorkshire.
It highlights the signs, raises awareness and encourages reporting of this hidden crime.
Domestic servitude typically involves victims working in a private family home where they are ill-treated, humiliated, subjected to unbearable conditions or working hours and made to work for little or no pay.
The team from the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Hope for Justice, the Modern Slavery & Organised Immigration Crime Programme and West Yorkshire Police have collaborated with locally based Fettle Animation to develop the content, which follows the journey of a young woman moving from her home country to the UK.
Over the last two years, there has been a specific increase in reports of domestic servitude within West Yorkshire, indicating women from Pakistan and Bangladesh are being brought to the UK and exploited in domestic homes. As well as English, the animation has therefore been translated into Urdu, Punjabi and Bengali with subtitles.
You can see the videos below, as well as further information on the signs and indicators of domestic servitude and details for organisations that can support victims and bring offenders to justice.
Signs and indicators
Domestic servitude is a form of trafficking in human beings which is extremely difficult to detect because the work is performed in private residences as seemingly normal practice, that is used as cover for the exploitation and control of someone for example, nannies or other domestic help, but the moment their employment arrangement transitions into a situation whereby they cannot leave on their own free will, it becomes a case of enslavement.
It is a type of forced labour whereby the victim is usually expected to work around a person’s home every day and be ‘on call’ 24 hours a day
Victims can be a spouse, partner, child, family member, male, female, young or old, UK national, Foreign National.
- No independent income or access to ID documents.
- Accompanied when outside the house - Little independence.
- Showing signs of trauma - Physical and emotional.
- Completing all of the household chores, often for several family members and unable to refuse - Being “on call” 24/7 - Could range from household chores to caring for family members.
- Not eating with the rest of the family and not having the same quantity or quality of food - Show signs of being malnourished.
- Not allowed unsupervised contact with own family members or friends.
- Restricted access to bathroom or to other areas of the house.
- Not allowed to seek independent medical treatment (or family accompany as ‘interpreter’) - Could show signs of untreated injuries - Have no bedroom or bed - Could be a very small room or even cupboard space, could sleep on the floor with only a blanket - Have no privacy.
- In spousal exploitation cases - husband can openly have a relationship with a girlfriend.
- Conditioned not to engage with the authorities - Fearful of the authorities
Modern Slavery Helpline
Phone: 08000 121 700
West Yorkshire Police
Phone: 101 (999 in emergencies)
Hope for Justice
Phone: 0300 008 8000
Phone: 0800 5999 247
Phone: 0800 555 111