UK Police Posts Photo of Woman Cleaning Windows as a Warning

November 8, 2018 Updated: November 8, 2018

Police in the United Kingdom shared a photo of a woman cleaning a window, but they say there is something wrong with it.

In the photo, the woman can be seen wiping the glass.

somerset police wash window
Police in the United Kingdom shared a photo of a woman cleaning a window, but they say there is something wrong with it. (Avon and Somerset Police)

But Avon and Somerset Police issued a warning, saying, “Do you see someone who is always inside the home cleaning? They are also never out of the home on their own?” Fox News reported.

“This could be an indicator of domestic servitude. Many victims won’t know they’re being exploited and need you to be a voice for them.”

According to Essex Live, a police spokesman said that “we rely heavily on the public to be our eyes and ears, to be in the places we can’t always be in. Intelligence plays a huge role in our fight to tackle crime; information received from the public could be the missing piece of a puzzle or break-through in a case.”

The Wiltshire Police added in another post: “Do you see an individual responsible for the care of children 24 hours a day who is never ‘allowed’ out of the house on their own? Domestic servitude is almost invisible, but we know it’s happening. Report to us.”

Migrant Workers Face Serious Abuse

In 2014, Human Rights Watch published a report saying the United Kingdom should abolish the “tied visa” to protect migrant workers and prevent forced labor.

The rights group suggested in the report that indentured servitude is common among Middle Eastern countries.

“Every year, some 15,000 migrant domestic workers arrive in the UK. Many of those interviewed by Human Rights Watch were women from Asia or Africa who previously worked for their employers in the Gulf, and had already experienced abuse there at the hands of their employers,” the report stated.

“Human Rights Watch has documented serious and widespread abuses against migrant domestic workers in the Gulf where gaps in labor laws and the restrictive sponsorship (kafala) system contribute to exploitation. The kafala system ties a domestic worker’s visa to her employer, and gives employers control over whether the worker can change jobs and, in some places, exit the country. The UK’s abolition of the right to change employer risks sending a signal to employers from the Gulf that they can continue to treat their workers as they did under the kafala system, Human Rights Watch said,” it said.

The kafala system (pdf) is a method used to monitor migrant workers in Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Rights groups have criticized the system due to human rights abuses and exploitation of workers.