LONDON, UK—The Sikh Community of South East London held a meeting at Gurdwara Singh Sabha London East Barking on 31st January 2013 to discuss the issue of sexual exploitation of women and Indian women in particular.
The meeting heard from Councillors and representatives from the local boroughs, journalist from the Ilford Recorder and the CEO of RAMFEL (Refugee and Migrant Forum East London). Contributions were also made by members of the Community, Sikh Council UK, Sikh Women’s Alliance and representatives of the Council of Gurdwaras South East.
After lengthy discussions it was concluded that in the current absence of statistics, data and evidence it was difficult to establish the scale of the problem or the underlying issues with any certainty. However, there appear to be some links with substance abuse, illegal immigration, domestic violence and organised gangs but this is speculative and anecdotal.
It was resolved that the public meeting of 3rd February is postponed for the time being until the extent of the problem has been quantified and that a small community based team is established Chaired by a local ward Councillor in order to begin the understanding and liaison work. The solution will ultimately lie in a interagency approach with the right levels of resources and coordination.
Finally it was noted that the woman who featured in the Panorama programme as a Madaam is currently in Police custody and her real name, street name and assumed names are known to the authorities.