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Hathaway Walk, Easton, Bristol

June 2015 53-year-old Jurate Grigelyte of Easton, Bristol was sentenced to 3 years in prison after admitting to 10 charges of facilitating entry into the UK with a view to exploiting labour, 10 charges of human trafficking and one count of forced labour. Grigelyte trafficked Lithuanian nationals to the UK with the promise of good employment and accommodation, but the workers, many of whom spoke little or no English, were forced to live in cramped and squalid conditions in properties around Bristol where she would lock them inside, only allowing them to enter and leave through a window. The victims worked illegally for Grigelyte’s charity bag business collecting donations from people and sorting through clothing. They were transported around the South West in vans with no seats or windows. A typical working day lasted from 5am to 6pm. Grigelyte promised workers £25 per day, but would deduct money for rent, travel and various fines, often leaving workers debt-bonded, with no money for food. Police arrested Grigelyte in November 2014 after a school raised concerns about the welfare of a six-year-old boy, who was the son of one of the victims.The Dark Figure* is an ongoing photographic project that investigates and documents UK neighbourhoods where victims have been identified as modern-day slaves. Photo: Hathaway Walk, Easton, Bristol, courtesy of The Dark Figure

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Cunliffe Street, Chorley

2013 A 22-year-old Hungarian woman responded to an advert for a baby-sitter job in London and was offered the job during a telephone interview.  When she arrived in Budapest to travel to Britain, she was met by three men who threatened her and removed her phone, before driving her to Slovakia, where she was brought to Manchester by coach. The woman was then sold to a Pakistani man for £3,500, who told her they were to marry. She was held at addresses in Gorton, Longsight and Levenshulme, before being taken to Chorley, Lancashire, where she was able to alert police. 2015 Bartolomej Sivak, the organiser of the operation pleaded guilty to trafficking and conspiracy to facilitate a breach of immigration law and was jailed for 4 years and 2 months. Rana Yousaf who assisted in the moving of the victim, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to facilitate a breach of immigration law and was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment.  Nasar Khan, who acted as a fixer for the sale of the victim, was found in Frankfurt and was extradited back to the UK. Khan was sentenced to three years in jail after pleading guilty to conspiracy to facilitate a breach of immigration law. Waqas Younus is still wanted in relation to the investigation.The Dark Figure* is an ongoing photographic project that investigates and documents UK neighbourhoods where victims have been identified as modern-day slaves. Photo: Cunliffe Street, Chorley, courtesy of The Dark Figure

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Bamfurlong Lane, Staverton, Cheltenham

March 2011 Gloucestershire Police carried out warrants at three properties in Gloucestershire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire after a year long investigation, including a 5 month surveillance operation of the Connors family was triggered by the discovery of the remains of a body, which was found near the Connors family home in May 2008. The body was that of Christopher Nicholls, who had been working for the Connors for 3 years and was reported missing by his parents in 2005. He was struck by a car in 2004. 19 vulnerable people were found living at Beggers Roost caravan park in Staverton living in squalid conditions and were subject to assault, theft of benefits and exploitation. Survivor Mark Ovenden told Channel 4 he was heading to his local soup kitchen in Bournemouth when a white van pulled over ahead of him. The driver approached him and offered him a job near Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire. He was taken to Beggers Roost and subjected to modern slavery for the next 2 years of his life. Some of the rescued men had been kept at the Connors property for up to 30 years and having been institutionalised, did not recognise themselves as victims. 5 members of the Connors family stood trial and were charged with offences involving the serious mistreatment of people who, because of their personal circumstances, had little option but to remain with the Connors. All 5 members of the Connors family were found guilty of the conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour between April 2010 and March 2011 and are facing a maximum sentence of 14 years.

The Dark Figure* is an ongoing photographic project that investigates and documents UK neighbourhoods where victims have been identified as modern-day slaves. Photo: Bamfurlong Lane, Staverton, Cheltenham, courtesy of The Dark Figure  

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Peckford Place, Brixton, Lambeth, London

November 2013 Metropolitan Police from the Human Trafficking Unit arrested 73-year-old Aravindan Balakrishnan and his wife, 67-year-old Chanda Pattni at their residential address in Brixton in South London. They were investigated for slavery and domestic servitude.  Three women had been rescued from the same residence in October 2013 having been held against their will for more than 30 years. Aishah Wahab, a 69-year-old Malaysian woman and Josephine Herivel, a 57-year-old Irish woman met the male suspect, also known as “Comrade Bala” in London through a shared political ideology, as he was the former Maoist leader of the Workers’ Institute of Marxism–Leninism–Mao Zedong Thought. Rosie Davies, a 30 year old British woman is thought to have spent her whole life in servitude under Balakrishnan.   The women were not physically restrained, but held by subjection to brainwashing, emotional abuse and physical abuse. Police were tipped off from a charity supporting victims of forced marriage. The charity had received a phone call from the women who had been watching the ITV documentary Forced To Marry. In December 2015, Balakrishnan was convicted of child cruelty, false imprisonment, four counts of rape, six counts of indecent assault and two counts of assault. Chanda Pattni, was released earlier in 2014, as there was considered to be insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction.  Balakrishnan was sentenced to 23-years imprisonment in January 2016.

The Dark Figure* is an ongoing photographic project that investigates and documents UK neighbourhoods where victims have been identified as modern-day slaves. Photo: Peckford Place, Brixton, Lambeth, London, courtesy of The Dark Figure 

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Spa Road, Bolton #2

March 2015 Two Hungarian women, aged 21 and 30, were rescued from a terrace property on Spa Road in Bolton after being trafficked one year previously by the Dardai family, also Hungarian, who enslaved the women, forcing them into prostitution. Daniel Dardai, Ferenc Dardai, Ferenc Dardai Jr, and Melania Kiraly were arrested and subsequently charged for modern slavery offences. Dardai Jr set up profiles for the two women on adult websites. When clients called, he and his father would tell the women what to say. The victims were forced to see up to five clients a day. One of the women told the court that she was made to eat with separate cutlery so she would not pass on any infection. She was given only bread, butter and salami, sometimes only once a day.The women were beaten daily by Dardai Jr and his mother. They were forced to hand over the money they made, which was around £150 a day. They were also told they could not leave until they had earned more money. One of the victims said Dardai Jr had on occasions strangled her for not smiling enough for clients and she had fainted after one beating. All family members pleaded guilty at Bolton Crown Court for sexual exploitation of the women. Dardai Sr, who claimed in court that he had been directed by his sons, was jailed for four years. His son, Daniel Ferenc was sentenced to 3 years in a young offenders institute. His brother Dardai Jr was sentenced to six years. Dardai Jr’s wife Kiraly was jailed for four years and four months plus an extra two months to run consecutively after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit a sham marriage.The Dark Figure* is an ongoing photographic project that investigates and documents UK neighbourhoods where victims have been identified as modern-day slaves.

Photo: Spa Road, Bolton, courtesy of The Dark Figure

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Spa Road, Bolton #1

March 2015 Two Hungarian women, aged 21 and 30, were rescued from a terrace property on Spa Road in Bolton after being trafficked one year previously by the Dardai family, also Hungarian, who enslaved the women, forcing them into prostitution. Daniel Dardai, Ferenc Dardai, Ferenc Dardai Jr, and Melania Kiraly were arrested and subsequently charged for modern slavery offences. Dardai Jr set up profiles for the two women on adult websites. When clients called, he and his father would tell the women what to say. The victims were forced to see up to five clients a day. One of the women told the court that she was made to eat with separate cutlery so she would not pass on any infection. She was given only bread, butter and salami, sometimes only once a day. The women were beaten daily by Dardai Jr and his mother. They were forced to hand over the money they made, which was around £150 a day. They were also told they could not leave until they had earned more money. One of the victims said Dardai Jr had on occasions strangled her for not smiling enough for clients and she had fainted after one beating. All family members pleaded guilty at Bolton Crown Court for sexual exploitation of the women. Dardai Sr, who claimed in court that he had been directed by his sons, was jailed for four years. His son, Daniel Ferenc was sentenced to 3 years in a young offenders institute. His brother Dardai Jr was sentenced to six years. Dardai Jr’s wife Kiraly was jailed for four years and four months plus an extra two months to run consecutively after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit a sham marriage.

The Dark Figure* is an ongoing photographic project that investigates and documents UK neighbourhoods where victims have been identified as modern-day slaves. Photo: Spa Road, Bolton, courtesy of The Dark Figure

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Batley Field Hill, Batley, Kirklees

July 2013 Authorities were alerted when a 20-year-old male trafficking victim contacted a charity, revealing he had been the victim of offences committed in 2011. More victims soon came forward, and others were identified. West Yorkshire police launched Operation Tavernhouse and in May, convictions were made against Hungarian traffickers Janos Orsos and Ferenc Illes, who had been providing Kozee Sleep, a bed factory that supplied retailers including John Lewis, Dunelm and Next with Hungarian workers. Company owner Mohammed Rafiq and two of his employees were charged with conspiracy to facilitate travel within the UK for exploitation. Rafiq is the first owner of a UK company to be charged with human trafficking offences. Workers supplied to Kozee Sleep were forced to live with up to 42 men in a two-bedroom house on Batley Field Hill and were found to be surviving on small scraps of food. The men would work for up to 20 hours a day and were paid as little as £10 a week. In May 2014, Janos Orsos pleaded guilty to conspiracy to traffic a person into the UK for exploitation, conspiracy to traffic a person within the UK for exploitation, blackmail and converting criminal property. He was sentenced to five years imprisonment. Ferenc Illes pleaded guilty to conspiracy to traffic a person within the UK for exploitation. He was sentenced to three years imprisonment. In January 2016, Mohammed Rafiq was found guilty of conspiracy to traffic and was sentenced to two years and three months imprisonment. He had pleaded not guilty.

The Dark Figure* is an ongoing photographic project that investigates and documents UK neighbourhoods where victims have been identified as modern-day slaves. Photo: Batley Field Hill, Batley, Kirklees, courtesy of The Dark Figure  

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Indecent Living Conditions

“Although I had to work everyday for my employer, I did not get a decent place to rest.” – Man from BrazilThis picture is part of PAG-ASA’s Photo-Voice project, which aims to give a voice to the human trafficking victims living in our shelter. For victims, explaining what they have been through is a complicated and distressing experience; the feeling that words are not enough is often overwhelming.  11 victims worked with us to create these photos. Each picture depicts an image and a message they wanted to convey. Each picture gives a glimpse of their personal experience and shows what it means to be a victim of human trafficking. The victims are present in every picture, both emotionally and physically, as they envisioned and interpreted them. Their stories are therefore an important means not only to raise awareness on human trafficking, but also to transmit a powerful message of strength. Photo: Indecent Living Conditions, courtesy of PAG-ASA  

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Freedom

"After all the pain and suffering, now I try to free my mind.” – Man from Morocco This picture is part of PAG-ASA’s Photo-Voice project, which aims to give a voice to the human trafficking victims living in our shelter. For victims, explaining what they have been through is a complicated and distressing experience; the feeling that words are not enough is often overwhelming. 11 victims worked with us to create these photos. Each picture depicts an image and a message they wanted to convey. Each picture gives a glimpse of their personal experience and shows what it means to be a victim of human trafficking. The victims are present in every picture, both emotionally and physically, as they envisioned and interpreted them. Their stories are therefore an important means not only to raise awareness on human trafficking, but also to transmit a powerful message of strength.Photo: Freedom, courtesy of PAG-ASA

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Hope

"Thank you to all the people from PAG-ASA who carry me towards the light.” – Woman from China This picture is part of PAG-ASA’s Photo-Voice project, which aims to give a voice to the human trafficking victims living in our shelter. For victims, explaining what they have been through is a complicated and distressing experience; the feeling that words are not enough is often overwhelming. 11 victims worked with us to create these photos. Each picture depicts an image and a message they wanted to convey. Each picture gives a glimpse of their personal experience and shows what it means to be a victim of human trafficking. The victims are present in every picture, both emotionally and physically, as they envisioned and interpreted them. Their stories are therefore an important means not only to raise awareness on human trafficking, but also to transmit a powerful message of strength.Photo: Hope, courtesy of PAG-ASA

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Ways to Escape

“Today, medicines help me to survive and forget.” – Man from Iran This picture is part of PAG-ASA’s Photo-Voice project, which aims to give a voice to the human trafficking victims living in our shelter. For victims, explaining what they have been through is a complicated and distressing experience; the feeling that words are not enough is often overwhelming. 11 victims worked with us to create these photos. Each picture depicts an image and a message they wanted to convey. Each picture gives a glimpse of their personal experience and shows what it means to be a victim of human trafficking. The victims are present in every picture, both emotionally and physically, as they envisioned and interpreted them. Their stories are therefore an important means not only to raise awareness on human trafficking, but also to transmit a powerful message of strength.Photo: Ways to Escape, courtesy of PAG-ASA

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Silence

“Living as a slave for so many years, I keep the silence on my pain.” – Woman from Morocco This picture is part of PAG-ASA’s Photo-Voice project, which aims to give a voice to the human trafficking victims living in our shelter. For victims, explaining what they have been through is a complicated and distressing experience; the feeling that words are not enough is often overwhelming. 11 victims worked with us to create these photos. Each picture depicts an image and a message they wanted to convey. Each picture gives a glimpse of their personal experience and shows what it means to be a victim of human trafficking. The victims are present in every picture, both emotionally and physically, as they envisioned and interpreted them. Their stories are therefore an important means not only to raise awareness on human trafficking, but also to transmit a powerful message of strength.Photo: Silence, courtesy of PAG-ASA

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Fear

“In the house where I was working, I was always afraid. At night, I covered my bed with garlic and cross for protection.” – Woman from Ivory Coast This picture is part of PAG-ASA’s Photo-Voice project, which aims to give a voice to the human trafficking victims living in our shelter. For victims, explaining what they have been through is a complicated and distressing experience; the feeling that words are not enough is often overwhelming. 11 victims worked with us to create these photos. Each picture depicts an image and a message they wanted to convey. Each picture gives a glimpse of their personal experience and shows what it means to be a victim of human trafficking. The victims are present in every picture, both emotionally and physically, as they envisioned and interpreted them. Their stories are therefore an important means not only to raise awareness on human trafficking, but also to transmit a powerful message of strength.Photo: Fear, courtesy of PAG-ASA

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Loneliness

“Often alone and sad, only religion remained to comfort me.” – Woman from Ivory Coast This picture is part of PAG-ASA’s Photo-Voice project, which aims to give a voice to the human trafficking victims living in our shelter. For victims, explaining what they have been through is a complicated and distressing experience; the feeling that words are not enough is often overwhelming. 11 victims worked with us to create these photos. Each picture depicts an image and a message they wanted to convey. Each picture gives a glimpse of their personal experience and shows what it means to be a victim of human trafficking. The victims are present in every picture, both emotionally and physically, as they envisioned and interpreted them. Their stories are therefore an important means not only to raise awareness on human trafficking, but also to transmit a powerful message of strength.Photo: Loneliness, courtesy of PAG-ASA

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Inhuman Working Conditions

"I didn’t have any force left, but I did not have a choice but to carry on.” – Man from MoroccoThis picture is part of PAG-ASA’s Photo-Voice project, which aims to give a voice to the human trafficking victims living in our shelter. For victims, explaining what they have been through is a complicated and distressing experience; the feeling that words are not enough is often overwhelming. 11 victims worked with us to create these photos. Each picture depicts an image and a message they wanted to convey. Each picture gives a glimpse of their personal experience and shows what it means to be a victim of human trafficking. The victims are present in every picture, both emotionally and physically, as they envisioned and interpreted them. Their stories are therefore an important means not only to raise awareness on human trafficking, but also to transmit a powerful message of strength.Photo: Inhuman Working Conditions, courtesy of PAG-ASA

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Unhealthy Working Conditions

“Working without protection nor special working attire ; today I have difficulty breathing.” – Man from Morocco This picture is part of PAG-ASA’s Photo-Voice project, which aims to give a voice to the human trafficking victims living in our shelter. For victims, explaining what they have been through is a complicated and distressing experience; the feeling that words are not enough is often overwhelming. 11 victims worked with us to create these photos. Each picture depicts an image and a message they wanted to convey. Each picture gives a glimpse of their personal experience and shows what it means to be a victim of human trafficking. The victims are present in every picture, both emotionally and physically, as they envisioned and interpreted them. Their stories are therefore an important means not only to raise awareness on human trafficking, but also to transmit a powerful message of strength.Photo: Unhealthy Working Conditions, courtesy of PAG-ASA

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Deprivation of Liberty

"Whenever the lady of the house left, she would lock me up for hours in the veranda, with only one small bottle of water.” – Woman from Morocco This picture is part of PAG-ASA’s Photo-Voice project, which aims to give a voice to the human trafficking victims living in our shelter. For victims, explaining what they have been through is a complicated and distressing experience; the feeling that words are not enough is often overwhelming. 11 victims worked with us to create these photos. Each picture depicts an image and a message they wanted to convey. Each picture gives a glimpse of their personal experience and shows what it means to be a victim of human trafficking. The victims are present in every picture, both emotionally and physically, as they envisioned and interpreted them. Their stories are therefore an important means not only to raise awareness on human trafficking, but also to transmit a powerful message of strength.Photo: Deprivation of Liberty, courtesy of PAG-ASA

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Disposable Brides

In 2017, the Global Estimates of Slavery included 15.4 million people in forced marriages. We are rigorously exploring the nature, extent, reality, and consequences of forced marriage, drawing up precise definitions of when ‘forced marriages’ should be seen as forms of slavery, gathering detailed information regarding forced marriage around the world, learning from survivors of forced marriage, and building concrete proposals for policy partners seeking to aid freedom from forced marriage as part of the global goal to end modern slavery by 2030.

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Unity Jay

"Back there at the house I saw how people struggle to survive. There is no work. They are building houses to look for daily bread. Then they have to mix the cement like this. In Nigeria there is no machine. We use hands to mix. This helps people who are working, so that at the end of the day they can pay their money so they can feed for themselves. That is why I snapped this picture to remember how they used to work. I made cement—I was little, when I was in secondary school at the age of 14." This image was taken as part of the Voice of Freedom workshop in Asti, Italy, working with ten Nigerian women trafficked through Libya to Italy. The title of the photograph refers to the name of the individual who took the photograph, and not the figure therein.  Photo: Unity Jay, courtesy of Voice of Freedom.

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Tessy Gold

"This picture shows I am going through a lot of pains, back there in Nigeria. I lost both my parents in a motor accident when I was 13 years old. I was taken back to the village to stay with grandmum because my uncles sold my parents’ house. Only a male child can take property and my younger brother was too small to do anything. I couldn’t finish my education any more. My auntie came and she said she want to take me to the city to live with her. She woke me up at 5am to clean the house—she just treat me like a slave because she is not my biological mum. She wake me up to do everything, to cook, look after her kid, everything. One day my auntie asked me to leave the house and I went back to my grandmum—we hardly eat, there was no money. So my grandmum came home with this idea that there is a lady in France, she want to come and pick me from Nigeria to Europe so she can help me further my education. Hearing that, I was so happy that maybe I could take care of my younger brother, as he is the only family I have left. My grandmum took me to a park—a man collected us, and that is how I got to Libya." This image was taken as part of the Voice of Freedom workshop in Asti, Italy, working with ten Nigerian women trafficked through Libya to Italy. The title of the photograph refers to the name of the individual who took the photograph, and not the figure therein.  Photo: Tessy Gold, courtesy of Voice of Freedom.