Feeds

Slave kids working UK cannabis farms

Vietnamese criminal gangs cash in on child labour

The essential guide to IT transformation

UK drug information organisation DrugScope has highlighted the plight of child "slaves" forced to work in illicit UK cannabis farms.

According to the organisation, the mainly Vietnamese victims are trafficked into Britain and "coerced into working as 'human sprinkler systems' to water and tend plants in UK cannabis farms" - two thirds to three quarters of which are run by Vietnamese criminal gangs.

We should point out that the farms in question are purely urban, with kids as young as 14 "living in cupboards and lofts to maximise space for plants, in houses powered by electricity running from makeshift connections to mains supplies". According to the London Fire Brigade, 50 such installations were detected in the capital last year "because of house fires caused by faulty lights or re-wiring".

While the Home Office in June published a report into child trafficking which "identified Vietnamese young people as a vulnerable group who had been particularly exploited in cannabis production", it also fingered several cases where the "slaves" had been jailed for their unwilling participation in cannabis cultivation.

Accordingly, the report "called on the police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to avoid prosecuting trafficked cannabis farmers", while Director of Public Prosecutions, Sir Ken Macdonald, told an All Party Parliamentary Group on trafficking in July he would "be warning prosecutors to take into account the back story of children found working in cannabis factories".

DrugScope's chief executive, Martin Barnes, said: "Some have considered large-scale cannabis cultivation as an almost 'victimless crime' but the reality is that vulnerable young people are being exploited.

"Unfortunately they find themselves victims twice over – both at the hands of the criminal gangs who brought them to this country, forcing them to work in cramped, dangerous conditions to fuel the illegal drug trade - and again when they find themselves treated as criminals by the UK authorities.

"DrugScope urges the Home Office to issue formal guidance as soon as possible to the UK courts. These children should not be serving jail terms – they should be given support and protection." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Uber, Lyft and cutting corners: The true face of the Sharing Economy
Casual labour and tired ideas = not really web-tastic
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.