From The Prague Post
The life many migrant workers find in Scotland is not what they had envisioned. They are frequently abused and coerced into accepting illegal working conditions, said Beth Herzfeld of Anti-Slavery International. According to Herzfeld, debt-bondage is one of the tactics used to traffic people. Trafficking is when someone is taken to, or freely goes, from one place to another by means of deception, coercion or violence. Often, as in the case of many Czech workers in Scotland, their passports are confiscated, they have a debt to repay and, being unsure of their legal right to work, they are controlled by threats.
Paul Millar, a Czech-born honorary consul in Scotland, estimated that about 2,000 to 3,500 Czechs work in Scotland. Often, these people are lured by unscrupulous employment agencies promising well-paid jobs. The most common form of abuse is debt-bondage, Millar said. This is the illegal practice of paying an employer up-front for work, rent and food.
Dangerous housing and miserable pay are often the hallmarks of foreign workers’ lives in Scotland, according to Ian Tusker, assistant secretary of the Scottish Trade Union Congress .
“You could work all day for a pittance, basically."