Report says slavery still exists in U.K.

Feb. 26, 2007 at 10:14 AM

LONDON, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- A direct descendent of the man who led the effort to abolish slavery in Britain says his ancestor would be appalled by a new report showing it still exists.

William Wilberforce has joined forces with those demanding the British government do more to protect modern victims of slavery in the United Kingdom, the Daily Telegraph reports.

A study released Monday by Hull University and Anti-Slavery International said slavery is thriving in Britain despite its legal abolition 200 years ago.

According to the report, migrant workers from Europe, Africa, Asia and South America are virtually held captive by a mixture of enforced debt, intimidation and lack of understanding of their rights.

"A lot of people perceive it as a developing nation problem," said Wilberforce. "I see it as a developed nation problem."

Wilberforce's great-great-great-great grandfather spearheaded the drive to abolish slavery in Britain while a member of Parliament. His story is the subject of the movie "Amazing Grace."

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