Thousands of foreign domestic workers are living as slaves in Britain, being abused sexually, physically and psychologically by employers, according to an investigation which was screened 2 years ago.More than 15,000 migrant workers come to Britain every year to earn money to send back to their families, but according to a Channel 4 dispatch ofreporters, many employers treat them inappropriately. About 20% of the workers report being physically abused or assaulted, including being burnt with irons, threatened with knives and having boiling water thrown at them.In some cases, the workers are young people who were trafficked over to the UK as children and forced to endure years of violence and forced labour. Lobby groups and charities say that a large proportion of foreign workers are paid less than £50 a week for working 20-hour days. Others hardly have a pay at all.
"Two-thirds of the domestic workers we see report being psychologically abused," said Jenny Moss, a community advocate for a migrant workers charity. "That means they've been threatened and humiliated, shouted at constantly and called dog, donkey, stupid, illiterate.
"The first thing to understand when we're talking about slavery is that we're not using a metaphor,” said Aidan McQuade from Anti-Slavery International. "Many of the instances of domestic servitude we find in this country are forced labour – a classification that includes retention of passports and wages, threat of denunciation and restriction of movement and isolation."
The programme also investigates claims that foreign diplomats are among the worst offenders. The dispatches’ study says it is also extremely difficult to prosecute diplomats for treating their workers as slaves. Marissa Begonia left three young children in the Philippines when she came to Britain as a domestic worker 16 years ago. She works for the Head of Justice 4 Domestic Workers organisation (new campaigning organisation run by and for migrant workers). Begonia says most of their clients are forced to…