Case study from The Salvation Army
Ferda went into a hostel, where they recognised him as a trafficked victim and referred him to The Salvation Army.
Before Ferda was trafficked into the UK from the Czech Republic, he had been living on the streets for two years with no income, after falling into depression when his wife died. He was in his early sixties. He had lost touch with his children and so gladly accepted the help of a man who befriended him, offering somewhere to live and a part-time job. The subsequent promise of better work in the UK also sounded like a good opportunity.
“I was working 12 hours a day, six days a week – for very little.”
Upon arrival in the UK, Ferda was told that he had to pay his traffickers back for travel. He worked more than 12 hours a day, six days a week in factories around England earning about £300 a week. He didn’t see much of this money as his trafficker demanded large amounts to repay debts and for accommodation. Ferda’s major health issues, including severe heart problems, back and foot pain, and depression were exacerbated by the long working hours and stress of debt repayment.
Once his health became a liability and he could no longer perform his job, he was evicted and left on the streets. He went into a hostel, where they recognised him as a trafficked victim and referred him to The Salvation Army.
During his time at the safehouse, Ferda took English classes, talked to other victims and his case worker and had proper medical treatment. He took the chance to evaluate what he wanted to do next and decided to return to the Czech Republic and draw his pension.
The Salvation Army and other agencies supported Ferda to obtain documents needed to travel home, secured assistance for his journey, and helped find secure housing in the Czech Republic where he is now happily resettled.