Modern Slavery is an international crime that affects an estimated 29.8 million slaves around the world. It is estimated there are 13,000 people held in slavery in the UK today. In 2015 there were 3,266 potential victims identified and referred to the National Crime Agency. 



What is Modern Slavery?

Modern Slavery takes a number of forms including sexual exploitation and forced labour. Often the person is forced or compelled to work and they are often controlled by an 'employer', usually through mental or physical abuse or the threat of abuse. Signs that someone might be a victim of modern slavery include:

  • Show signs of injury, abuse and malnourishment
  • Look unkempt, often in the same clothing and have poor hygiene
  • Be under the control and influence of others
  • Live in cramped, dirty, overcrowded accommodation
  • Have no access or control of their passport or identity documents
  • Appear scared, avoid eye contact, and be untrusting
  • Be collected very early and/or returned late at night on a regular basis
  • May have inappropriate clothing for the work they are performing, and/or a lack of safety equipment
  • May be isolated from the local community and their family

It can include victims that have been brought from overseas, and vulnerable people in the UK, being forced to illegally work against their will in many different sectors, including brothels, nail bars, factories and agriculture.

What's the difference between Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking?

The terms 'Modern Slavery' and 'Human Trafficking' are often used interchangeably. They can be taken to mean the same thing on most occasions, but Human Trafficking may also refer to the movement of people from one place to another. Human Trafficking often involves threat, force and coercion, and people may be trafficked into Modern Slavery as a result of abduction or deception.

What to do if you are a victim of Modern Slavery

Due to our anonymity guarantee, we can't take information from victims of crime. If think you may be a victim of Modern Slavery you can contact the charity Salvation Army by calling their 24-hour confidential helpline on 0300 038151.