They tell you they're going to do something right.
And you can't help hoping that this time ... just maybe ...
Check this timeline:
- 1996 - Labour campaigns on the issue of migrant domestic workers who come to the UK with their employers and are subjected to sexual abuse, violence and virtual slavery
- 1997 - Labour wins the election
- 1998 - Legislation is passed to grant migrant domestic workers the chance to leave abusive employers and find other work, receiving basic protection including the minimum wage
- Feb 2007 - after much pressure is exerted, the UK agrees to sign the European Convention against Trafficking
- March 2007 - the government announces changes to immigration law that mean that from autumn migrant domestic workers will be granted 'non-renewable business visas'. This translates as meaning that they will no longer be able to leave abusive employers and find other work in the UK. Instead they will be faced with a stark choice - stay put or risk poverty and homelessness.
'These changes will remove the basic protection for migrant domestic workers. They will be left incredibly vulnerable to exploitation or abuse.' Kate Roberts, community support worker at Kalayaan
'I championed this cause in opposition and government and the changes we put through were to help stop abuse and trafficking. These new propsals are a very retrograde step. Workers who suffer abuse from their employers will feel absolutely alone.' Barbara Roche, former immigration minister
And the Home Office response?
'As part of our continued work to combat trafficking, our emphasis will be upon developing robust pre-entry procedures, including appropriate safeguards, such as the identification of cases of possible abuse at the pre-entry stage to minimise the risk of subsequent exploitation.'
Of course. That's the answer. Stop them coming here in the first place.