Rooted in Chains is a campaign to raise awareness of human trafficking in the UK drugs trade. We are particularly focused on the cannabis supply chain. Cannabis production in the UK is inextricably linked to a shadowy network of human trafficking and exploitation. In the short-term we want to raise awareness of this issue and provide financial and legal support for those affected. In the long term we want to create a public debate that will put an end to this easily solvable problem and the unecessary suffering that goes with it.
The purpose of this Rooted in Chains web-forum is to raise awareness of this issue and provide a platform to debate solutions. It is of vital importance to us that this issue enter the popular consciousness and receives the coverage it deserves. Collectively we can stop trafficking in the UK and support the vulnerable victims of this ruthless form of exploitation.
We believe in creating a group forum wherein everyone can contribute to the discussion of solutions regarding this issue. Having said this, we wish to state clearly that for us the eventual solution to this problem will involve full legalisation. If marijuana were a legal substance, available for public use, like alcohol, sugar and tobacco, it would be able to be taxed and regulated like any other commodity. This would obviously vastly decrease the vulnerability of the industry to abuse by traffickers and organised crime syndicates. Our main intention is to solve the problem of this horrifically widespread human trafficking in the industry. We are completely open to innovative solutions that do not involve legalisation and we look forward to hearing from you about these! We simply believe legalisation to be the most direct and comprehensive solution at this time.
Please check out the rest of out project and get involved!
Cannabis & Human Trafficking
Increasingly in modern Britain, the production of cannabis has become inextricably linked with a shadowy network of human trafficking and exploitation. Today, a significant proportion of the market consumes cannabis that comes from the use of illegal labour: trafficked children and young adults, typically from Vietnam.
More children are trafficked into the UK from Vietnam than from any other country; of all the identified trafficking victims who were forced into cannabis cultivation in 2012, 96% were from Vietnam, and 81% were children. This has prompted to NSPCC to refer officially to cannabis produced in this way – in an illegal and unregulated market – as ‘blood cannabis.’
What is Trafficking
Human Trafficking is a ruthless form of exploitation in which victims are taken – usually by force – from one country to another for the purpose of exploitation. It is a form of irregular migration (formerly referred to as illegal migration). Victims of trafficking are almost never free to decide upon the activities with which they engage and are typically forced into slavery or into low-paid, degrading work. In most cases it is impossible for trafficking victims to escape their situation. This can be because they are forcibly enslaved and face the threat of violence against themselves of their families at home. Alternatively, victims are simply straddled with huge debts from their original movement, meaning they become dependent on their traffickers.
Trafficking is most commonly associated with sexual slavery and the sex-industry at large, but victims are trafficked for many other reasons. Some academics argue that too much attention has been paid to this one area of the problem at the expense of others. For example, a quarter of those trafficked over the last five years have been forced to work in the illegal cultivation of cannabis – as many as are trafficked for sexual exploitation.
While official figures are of course highly vulnerable to miscalculation, it is estimated that there are at least 13,000 trafficking victims currently being exploited in the UK.