There are many types of modern slavery. It involves victims from both within the UK and from other countries being held by someone else to work against their will.

They may be paid little or no pay, forced to live and work in poor conditions and be physically, psychologically or sexually abused.

They may be moved around against their will between countries or between places in the UK. This is known as human trafficking.

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 was introduced to fight modern slavery and protect vulnerable people. 

How does it happen?

Modern Slavery can happen in any community and whilst vulnerable people are often targeted anyone can become a victim.

It can involve forced labour, domestic servitude, adult or child sexual exploitation and other forms of criminal exploitation.

Car washes, nail bars, takeaways, farms and brothels are all potential places where modern slavery can happen. Taxi companies, hotels or petrol stations may also be used to facilitate these crimes and landlords may also inadvertently or knowingly house victims.

What are the potential signs to spot?

  • Physical appearance - are they particularly untidy looking or unkempt? Are they dressed appropriately for the work they are doing? Do they show physical signs of violence? Do they wear the same clothes every day? Do they look malnourished?
  • Behaviour - are they unusually quiet? Do they seem to be uneasy, fearful or isolated? Are they allowed to handle money or does someone collect payment for the work they do?
  • Language - do they speak little or no English? Are they able to speak freely or is someone talking for them? Do they avoid eye contact when speaking?
  • Movement - are they being escorted? Are they being picked up and dropped off at strange times?
  • Living standards - are they living on site? Does their living area appear cramped or untidy? Do lots of visitors come and go without staying very long?
  • Working conditions - does the premises seem overstaffed? Do they have appropriate equipment and safety. Are there any professional qualifications on show? Do staff appear fearful of supervisors?  Are there any staff cars parked on site?

How to report modern slavery

Information from the public is vital in the fight against modern slavery. To report your concerns call us on 101.

If you or someone else is in immediate danger call 999 straight away.

You can also report anonymously via:

You can also find some useful link listed elsewhere on this page

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