Slaves in 2011?

A rather chilling news item in The Guardian yesterday about a woman of South Asian origin and former hospital director who has been charged for keeping a home-help as a slave! What’s going on?

Fed two slices of bread a day and made to sleep on the floor, Saeeda Khan convinced a woman from Tanzania to travel to stay with her saying she would help her with a visa. You can read the full story for yourselves but I find it quite disturbing as it does raise more questions.

Perhaps this story is not so uncommon and, like much human trafficking, she is one of the lucky ones who escaped and we get to hear the story.  Did Saeeda get the thrifty and mean idea from someone else? There are less obvious forms of slavery: it is possible to be treated like one through marriage or even by our siblings.  I met a woman from the Subcontinent who was brought to the UK to help raise her brother’s children and was treated awfully by her own family.

Going back to this news item, we see so much poverty in the world and women often struggle financially to support their families.  Imagine that the victim actually agreed to the monthly payment of £60 in the first place.  I know much of the world still subsides on $2 a day and that in the Sub-Continent the equivalent of £60 is pretty average monthly income but it’s stories like this that remind us how lucky we are and that if we are in a position to help we should.


One Comment to “Slaves in 2011?”

  1. Bubbly,

    Thank you for posting this today. What an awful story and shame on this woman. An educated doctor that thinks it is ok to employ someone as a slave.

    Sadly this happens and for many more women, home help is the least of the troubles and women are used for sex too.

    It really troubles me when we are inflicting this upon our own people. I do feel that some of the practices of India and Africa are brought over here. It is acceptable for home helpers to sleep on the floor and be provided with the most basic of foods. i have seen it broadly. Here it isn’t acceptable and it shouldn’t be.

    I will read the full story, but as many of us employ cleaners and domestic help it is important to value this help and the people.

    A troubled Bunty

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: