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Miranda Allard calls for Unified Action
I have just agreed to join Professional Beauty’s new campaign to “put an end to modern slavery in salons”. We need to do more this end but we also need to work on how to prevent greedy and dangerous traffickers at source.
I happened to be on vacation with my husband in Vietnam when news came through that all 39 bodies in the UK refrigerated lorry deaths were Vietnamese. When the locals heard we were British they wanted to talk about it. They were deeply saddened and angry and even exasperated as to how their own young people could be so stupid to risk their lives in such a desperate and undignified way – apparently believing they were on some VIP journey to the UK. We were shocked – so it was odd to us that shock wasn’t their overriding feeling. We gathered that illegal journeys to the UK were not unusual and the risk of danger to life, though not expected, is accepted as a serious possibility. Any shock we observed was due to the horrific nature and number of deaths. It seems the risk takers believe the traffickers’ promises of “a better life” earning good money with even enough to send back home. From the photos we see of some of “the 39” they didn’t look like desperate people – to me they appear to be full of educated youthful ambition – and for this they were targeted. It might have been scraped together but they each had £30K to pay for their journey. We need to reach out to young people in Vietnam and from countries where trafficking is rife to warn them that promises are nothing but a way to scam them out of money while risking their lives.
We do not know what was in store for the 39 had they lived – but the chances are they would face the harsh reality of being destitute as illegal immigrants in an expensive foreign land. Would they have been caught up in modern slavery? We will never know…..but all too often that is exactly what happens and nail bars and salons are often where they end up with little or no pay and too afraid to go to authorities.
I noticed recently that posters have appeared on the cubicle side of toilet doors in motorway service stations – asking the public to be aware and report if they suspect slavery of any kind. Many of these posters appear to be of workers in nail bars. I wonder how many members of the public suspect and report suspicious activities. I wonder how many of those reported are investigated. If our own industry is a recognised area where modern slavery exists we must all do more to act – engage and work with our authorities to prosecute law breakers and release those trapped. We must use social media and whatever means possible to spread the word back home to convince and discourage those who unwittingly believe a better life awaits them elsewhere.
Please forward this Blog link to anyone interested in ending modern slavery https://www.spastaff.com/blog
If you wish to join the PB campaign click https://professionalbeauty.co.uk/site/newsdetails/help-end-modern-slavery-in-nail-salons