The defining feature of modern-day slavery is imprisonment - physical, emotional, psychological and financial - often sustained through violence or the threat of it. Current immigration legislation in the UK plays a central role in keeping people trapped in slavery because an individual is powerless while her immigration status is in the hands of someone else.
In this compelling and persuasive book that examines the complex subject of immigration, and its connection to modern-day slavery, Rahila Gupta seeks out five former slaves who had been trafficked, smuggled or duped into the UK, and helps them to tell us their stories. We meet a pregnant child from Sierra Leone who was locked up in a London house as a domestic slave; a Russian teenager trafficked into prostitution; a Chinese man, living in fear of the triads; a religious Somali woman who had to promise sex in order to eat; and a young Punjabi woman forced into marriage and repeatedly abused by her husband.
Living in fear of being sent back to conditions of war, persecution, sexual oppression or grinding poverty, these hapless immigrants come to the UK only to find that their passports are in the hands of their oppressors and that the world of freedom and equal opportunity they have escaped to is, in fact, a deadly trap