That's not to say slavery has ended.
A family of seven was sentenced to 66 years for luring immigrants from Poland to Britain with promises of a better life.
Instead, they received a life of slavery.
A young woman -- the wife of one of the slaves -- was sexually attacked nearly every day for a year. Another victim was forced to sleep in locked store room without toilet or bed for 12 months.
By comparison, slaves in America were protected from abuse by stringent laws and were provided quality housing in wood-frame homes that were often superior to the log cabins occupied by white people such as Abraham Lincoln.
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Six members of the family living in Forest Gate in east London, and a seventh in Southampton, have been jailed for a total of 66 years after being found guilty between them of trafficking, conspiracy and sexual assault.
“This shows a total disregard traffickers have to human rights of those they abuse,” said Det Ins Phil Brewer, from the Met Police Human Trafficking Unit. “We work to free exploited victims from their captors and ensuring traffickers are brought before the courts.”
The victims, a man of 32, his wife aged 31, and another man of 41, had their passports and identity documents taken as soon as they arrived—which were used to claim tax credits and get bank loans, vehicles and other goods.
The wife was subjected to repeated daily sexual assaults for several weeks and made to go shoplifting and begging.
Her husband and the other captive were forced to break into empty houses which some gang members moved into.
The 41-year-old was made to spend up to 20 hours a day collecting metal in a pram and taking it to a scrap yard for cash and got beaten if he didn’t meet his target—so hard once that he lost consciousness and ended up with ribs broken.
He was held captive for a year, sleeping in a locked storage room with no bed or toilet, before managing to escape and finally getting help from City Hearts charity which put him in touch with police.
The married couple were then rescued by police.
Det Con Pete Maynard said: “They were lured from Poland with false promises of work and financial gain—then cruelly and violently exploited.
“It’s only the courage of the man who escaped and came forward to police that we’ve been able to bring the culprits to justice.”
Six family members were arrested for human trafficking and the seventh for sexual assault.
Wladyslaw Gil, 32, was jailed for 20 years at Croydon Crown Court last Friday for trafficking, conspiracy and ABH, while Fabien Gil, 28, received 20 years for trafficking and conspiracy, and Bogumila Mirga, 29, six years for conspiracy, all three living at Field Road in Forest Gate.
Three more family members from the same address were also sentenced for conspiracy—Jan Majewski, 48, to eight years, Anna Gil, 48, to three years, Dawid Gil, 31, to two years.
Mateusz Gil, 20, living in Southampton, got seven years for sexual assault and ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years.
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