Enslaved: The New British Slavery
Slavery in Britain did not end with Wilberforce. They may be largely invisible to us, but living in our midst are thousands of slaves. In this book, we meet a pregnant child from Sierra Leone who was locked up in a London house as a domestic slave; a Russian teenager trafficked into prostitution; a Chinese man, living in fear of the Triads; a religious Somali woman who had to exchange sex for food; and, a young Punjabi woman forced into marriage and repeatedly abused by her husband. These are the stories of those who have escaped, through a combination of courage, timing, luck and the humanity of those who helped them. Their testimonies are harrowing but we cannot leave them unheard.
The book had a very favourable reception. Here is a selection of comments:
“RAHILA GUPTA is indefatigably watchful. Like a floodlight, she turns her furious intellect and passion to social injustices, leaving no place for excuses to hide. These destroyed lives expose the lies of globalisation and British hypocrisy…rarely do we hear these voices.” Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Journalist
“Rahila Gupta has always been a pioneer of sorts, never afraid to voice her opinion regardless of the political weather. The writer and activist, who was one of the early supporters of the women’s group Southall Black Sisters, has just published a book on modern day slavery.” Sunny Hundal, Journalist
“Slavery does not belong to the past. It lives and breathes in our midst and Rahila Gupta’s powerful expose opens a window on this secret world. This is one of the most shocking books you will read about contemporary Britain; that human beings should be treated with such degradation and cruelty is a disgrace we should find unbearable. I hope the author’s passion ignites a new anti-slavery campaign. Sign me up.” Baroness Helena Kennedy
“This is one of the most vital books of the new century.” Emma Thompson, Actor
“The book arrived this morning at 9am, I was in a bit of a rush so I decided to have a quick look at it, but then I didn’t put it down till 12.30. I got to Amber Lobepreet’s story at page 194 when I realised that I hadn’t called my agent, the theatre, my plumber, or my mother. Now I have to stress, I am the slowest reader in the world, and I have only ever read one book in one day, and that was half the size of yours. Really powerful moving stuff. You’re great. I love you.” Benjamin Zephaniah, Poet and playwright