Human traffickers are persevering with to model their victims with tattoos “as a management mechanism” that “identifies them as belonging to them”, a charity has warned.
Stephen Hay, director of police and justice on the Medaille Belief, made the remarks because the charity teamed up with tattoo artists for a brand new “anti-branding” marketing campaign to empower victims.
Tattooists Towards Traffickers will assist trafficking survivors to revamp the tattoos they have been branded with.
The marketing campaign has been introduced on the United Nations’ “World Day Towards Trafficking In Individuals”, which focuses on the position human trafficking survivors play in establishing efficient measures to stop the crime
There are estimated to be 136,000 victims of contemporary slavery dwelling within the UK, in line with knowledge from the International Slavery Index and the UK’s Nationwide Crime Company.
Mr Hay stated: “(Tattooing) is a management mechanism that’s put in place by perpetrators of contemporary slavery, to manage their victims and determine them as belonging to them.
“These undesirable tattoos function a outstanding reminders of the trauma victims have confronted, which is why the marketing campaign helps shoppers to revamp their tattoos and reclaim their our bodies.”
One survivor, who was bought by her mom as a slave, had the phrase “mum” visibly tattooed on her hand.
Working with artist Talen Stalley from Terry’s Tattoos in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, she was capable of re-create this into an exquisite picture of a butterfly.
“You do not perceive what this implies to me, it’s freedom,” she advised the charity.
In the meantime, a survivor who was dwelling in protected homes had her perpetrator’s title in thick, black letters down her arm. For years, she wore lengthy sleeves and hid her arm in pictures in order to keep away from any questions in regards to the which means behind it.
In late July, tattooist Natalie Duffield from Misplaced Gardens modified the title right into a putting picture of a feather.
“Normally the cover-ups I do are as a result of individuals are drained or tired of their tattoos, whereas this was so completely different,” Natalie stated. “It is not simply fixing a tattoo. We’re serving to repair that particular person.”
The Medaille Belief are additionally educating the tattoo artists about recognising indicators of trafficking.
A few of these purple flags embody indicators of bodily accidents in uncommon locations; avoidance of eye contact, and tattoo requests for redesigns on the again of the neck and within the forearm, which are sometimes male names or unusual symbols.
The rules additionally recommend victims will probably be accompanied by an older, controlling man, whom they consult with as “boyfriend”, “uncle” or “daddy” – all slang phrases for pimp.
Labour MP Alex Norris, who’s backing the marketing campaign, believes this can be a highly effective mission to provide trafficking victims “their independence and dignity”.
He added that at this time’s consciousness day was a reminder to the UK authorities that we “should do higher to guard individuals on this nation from fashionable slavery”.