In a few short months , the London Olympics will be upon us. Millions of extra visitors are expected to flock to the UK to witness this historic event.
But while the Games will be an exciting and wonderful experience for most , there will be those whose only memories of this event will be steeped in misery.
And that misery will be caused by human trafficking.
Minister for Social Justice Carl Sargeant says there is evidence that human trafficking increases around sporting events. He’s calling for the rest of the UK to follow Wales’ example in appointing a tsar to help coordinate a joint response to the problem
Mary is a woman who was kidnapped from Africa and brought to the UK against her will. She lived in a village that was terrorised by soldiers and managed to escape with her life leaving all her family behind her.
She was befriended by a man who promised to take her to a neighbouring country for a sum of money. But he lied. When she stepped off the plane, she was shocked to find herself in a place where she had no friends , no money and no one to help.
Mary was locked up in this man’s house. She was forced to cook and clean for his family . She had no wages or days off. Instead she was locked in her room when she wasn’t working. And when the man’s wife was away , he had sex with her as well.
Mary cried but there was no one to hear. After these five long years , she was sold to another family where again she was locked up against her will. She only managed to escape when her new “owner “ left the front door key unattended
Now she is in the care of an organisation called BAWSO ( Black Association of Women Step Out ) who have helped her find somewhere safe to live, as well as help her to claim asylum in Wales
Mary is only one woman who has been exploited in this way. But a similar fate could befall other men , women and children, trapped into servitude , coming into Britain under the radar.
Mary is lucky. But others may not make their escape to safety