It sounded too good to be true and it was:
When Katarina first came to England she thought she had just landed herself a good job in a top hotel. She would be able to make a good living for herself and on top send money to her impoverished grandparents who brought her up back in her Eastern European hometown.
Instead, Katarina found herself locked in a basement by day and forced to work as a prostitute at night, sometimes seeing more than 40 clients in one evening.
Her captors demanded she earn £300 a day to pay off ‘the debt’ she'd allegedly incurred for having been transported to Britain. If she refused anal sex or unprotected sex, or if a client didn’t find her attractive, “a fine” was added to the debt. She was also subjected to rape by the traffickers who kept her confined.
200 years after slavery was officially abolished in Britain, thousands of women like Katarina are being lured into a life as sex slaves. They're tricked into believing they're moving on to a better life. Often from countries in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe, the girls are promised good jobs and decent pay when they arrive. But instead, they are traded, their bodies sold, their lives worth a couple of hundred pounds. The majority of them end up in Britain’s growing sex industry.
Human trafficking for sex is one of Britain's fastest growing shadow businesses. An estimated 4,000 women have been trafficked to the UK in the last couple of years according to a research by the UK Home Office. Further estimates suggest that in total, more than half a million women and girls are being trafficked into the sex trade of the EU countries every year. Feeding the sex industry is the biggest cause for trafficking around the world.
By Natasha Collins