Modern Slavery is the recruitment, movement, harbouring or receiving of children, women and men through the use of force, coercion, deception, and abuse of vulnerability or other means for the purpose of exploitation. Modern Slavery can happen in any community and whilst vulnerable people are often targeted anyone can become a victim.
Individuals may be trafficked into, out of or within the UK, and they may be trafficked for a number of reasons including sexual exploitation, forced labour, domestic servitude and organ harvesting.
Often, people may not see themselves as victims.
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.
The Modern Slavery Act 2015 was introduced to fight modern slavery and protect vulnerable people.
Modern Slavery can take many different forms. Expand the below sections to find out more about each type of exploitation.
Or you can scroll down to read some of the potential signs of exploitation and how to report any concerns you may.
Vulnerable victims are exploited for labour and are forced to work against their will under the threat of some form of punishment often in isolated locations. Victims can live on offenders' property in squalid conditions and are often subjected to repeated abuse and are very rarely paid.
Victims can work directly for the offenders in businesses or sites that they own or control, or work for others and have their wages heavily 'taxed' for living expenses by the offender.
The main method of exploitation is not paying or illegally underpaying victims. It can be very difficult for victims to leave, for example because of threats, the perpetrator holding their
passport or using a position of power over the victim.
Victims can be forced, or appear willing, to work in the sex industry in a variety of locations. Sexual Exploitation often involves the use of the internet and can involve adults and children.
Victims may be brought to the UK on the promise of legitimate employment, or moved around the UK to be sexually exploited. Victims are typically female but can also be male.
Forced sex work can occur in fixed or changing locations. Fixed location is where victims are trafficked and exploited in established locations set up specifically for sex work. This can include brothels or rooms in legitimate business premises (e.g. a massage parlour).
Forced sex work in changing locations is where victims are forced into sex work where the location of exploitation frequently changes. Locations include streets, clients' residence, hotels or 'pop‑up' brothels in short‑term rented property. Victims are frequently advertised online.
Victims can be trafficked to residential sites controlled by offenders and sexually exploited for the offenders' own gratification. Some victims may be confined to the site for a long period of time.
Child sexual exploitation (CSE) can be by an individual or group of offenders. CSE carried out by a group of offenders is usually for personal gratification, but sometimes the exploitation involves forced sex work in fixed or changing locations. Offenders frequently transport victims to different locations to abuse them.
CSE carried out by a single exploiter often involves the grooming of children and transporting them for the purposes of sexual exploitation with the offending carried out by one individual.
Forced Criminality is where victims are forced or coerced into criminal activities for someone else's gain. For example, victims could be coerced into begging, shoplifting, benefit fraud, drug cultivation or forced marriage.
A growing phenomenon is the use of children and young people to transport drugs and money between cities and rural areas on behalf of crime gangs, known as county lines.
Victims are forced to carry out household tasks and their movements are often restricted. Victims can be exploited by their own partner and forced to undertake household chores for their partner and often their partner's relatives. If married, the marriage may have been arranged or forced and the servitude sadly often occurs alongside domestic abuse and sexual exploitation.
Victims can also be exploited by their own relatives and exploited for household chores and childcare by family members, usually extended family. Many victims are children.
Some cases see victims exploited by people they are not related to. Victims live with offenders who are often strangers and forced to undertake household chores and are mostly confined to the house.
It is very difficult for them to leave, for example because of threats, the perpetrator holding their passport, or using a position of power over the victim.
Victim's organs, blood or eggs may be taken to be sold. This is not yet identified in the UK.
Signs of exploitation
There are many potential signs of exploitation - it's really important to be aware of what these are and to report any concerns you may have. Here are some examples:
Reporting modern slavery
Information from the public is vital in the fight against modern slavery. Together as a community we can eradicate slavery and trafficking in Wiltshire, and reduce the exploitation of the most vulnerable people
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:
• The National Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700
• Or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111
You can also find some useful link listed elsewhere on this page