I just came across this fascinating news item in The Guardian:
Child survivors of Nepal earthquake ‘being sold’ in the UK
Theresa May urges police investigation after the Sun reports that Nepalese and Indian children are being sold to British families as domestic slaves
The home secretary Theresa May has urged police to investigate claims that child survivors of the Nepal earthquake and other vulnerable children are being sold to British families to work as domestic slaves.
An investigation by the Sun newspaper suggests that boys and girls as young as 10 are being sold for just £5,300 by black market gangs operating in India’s state of Punjab.
The paper says the gangs are preying on the children of Nepalese refugees, as well as destitute Indian families.
May called child trafficking a “truly abhorrent crime” and urged the National Crime Agency to investigate the newspaper’s findings. She said the paper should “share its disturbing findings” with the agency, “so that appropriate action can be taken against the vile criminals who profit from this trade”.
According to the Sun’s report, which appears on the front of Monday’s print edition, the desperate children are being sold to wealthy British families to be used as unpaid domestic servants.
It reports that a trader it names as Makkhan Singh lined up children for its undercover reporter to pick from and said: “We have supplied lads who have gone on to the UK.
“Most of the ones who are taken to England are Nepalese.
“For the supply of a boy, minimum 500,000 rupees [£5,300]. Then you will have other costs associated with taking him to the UK, but that’s your responsibility extra to what you pay us.
“Take a Nepalese to England. They are good people. They are good at doing all the housework and they’re very good cooks. No one is going to come after you.”
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on 25 April last year, killing almost 9,000 people and leaving millions in need of aid.
In the light of this report, it may be that Turkey is going about dealing with its refugee crisis in entirely the wrong way. Clearly appealing to the better nature of Europeans is not working. The fact is, they are not interested in sharing their wealth with displaced persons from Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East. In fact European Union authorities have begun sending back to Turkey asylum-seekers who had already managed to reach Greece.
It does seem, however, that there is a ready demand in wealthy European homes for unpaid servants to do work that their own citizens expect a living wage for. And they are prepared to pay at least £5,000 per head.
Well, Turkey is currently suffering economically on a number of fronts, and prospects are not good, with another tourist season approaching. On the other hand, there are now reportedly 2.6 million Syrian refugees severely stretching the country’s resources.
Obviously they would need to be careful not to flood the market, which would have a depressing effect on prices – but a government-sponsored programme to provide a regulated flow of Syrian servants to the United Kingdom’s moneyed classes could be just what Turkey needs to make up a shortfall in its current account deficit. 200 Syrians at £5,000 each means an income of £1,000,000 – not to be sneezed at! And who’s to say that wealthy Germans, Scandinavians, Luxemburgians and whatnot wouldn’t follow the English lead?
I expect President Erdoğan will be looking into it as soon as he gets back from his American trip.