Modern Slavery

What is modern slavery and human trafficking?

The Act: WHAT is done

e.g. Recruitment, transfer, transportation, harbouring or receipt of persons. NOTE: Where a victim is a child, only ACT and PURPOSE are required.

The Means: HOW it is done

e.g. threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or position of vulnerability, giving or receiving of payments or benefits used to control a person.

The Purpose: WHY it is done

e.g. to exploit a person through prostitution, other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery, servitude or removal of organs from a person.

Sexual Exploitation – A person trafficked for sex may be controlled by violence, threats, substance abuse, deception, or grooming, with extreme physical or psychological domination.

 

Forced Labour – Forced labour is work done under the threat of a penalty such as violence or harm to family. Victims are often further controlled by debt bondage.

 

Domestic Servitude – A person is forced to provide services with the obligation to live on or in a property without the possibility of changing those circumstances.

 

Organ Harvesting – A person who is trafficked and specifically chosen for the harvesting of organs or tissues, such as kidneys, liver etc. without consent, to be sold.

 

Criminal exploitation – A person who is coerced and forced to commit criminal activities such as county lines.

Spot the signs

General indicators

Trafficking victims are often lured into another country by false promises and so may not easily trust others. They may:

  • Be fearful of police/authorities
  • Be fearful of the trafficker, believing their lives or family members’ lives are at risk if they escape
  • Exhibit signs of physical and psychological trauma e.g. anxiety, lack of memory of recent events, bruising, untreated conditions
  • Be fearful of telling others about their situation
  • Be unaware they have been trafficked and believe they are simply in a bad job
  • Have limited freedom of movement
  • Be unpaid or paid very little
  • Have limited access to medical care
  • Seem to be in debt to someone
  • Have no passport or mention that someone else is holding their passport
  • Be regularly moved to avoid detection
  • Believe they are being controlled by use of witchcraft
Sexual Exploitation

Be aware: ordinary residential housing/hotels are being used more and more for brothels. People forced into sexual exploitation may:

  • Be moved between brothels, sometimes from city to city
  • Sleeping on work premises
  • Display a limited amount of clothing, of which a large proportion is sexual
  • Display substance misuse
  • Be forced, intimidated, or coerced into providing sexual services
  • Be subjected to abduction, assault, or rape
  • Be unable to travel freely e.g. picked up and dropped off at work location by another person
Forced Labour

Where all the work is done under the menace of a penalty or the person has not offered himself voluntarily and is now unable to leave. They may experience:

  • Threat or actual physical harm
  • Restriction of movement or confinement
  • Debt bondage i.e. working to pay off a debt or loan, often the victim is paid very little or nothing at all for their services because of deductions
  • Withholding of pay or excessive reductions
  • Withholding of documents e.g. passport/security card
  • Threat of revealing to authorities an irregular immigration status
  • Their employer is unable to produce documents required
  • Poor or non-existent health and safety standards
  • Requirement to pay for tools and food
  • Imposed place of accommodation (and deductions made for it)
  • Pay that is less than minimum wage
  • Dependence on employer for services
  • No access to labour contract
  • Excessive work hours/few breaks
Domestic Servitude

A particularly serious form of denial of freedom; this includes the obligation to provide certain services and the obligation to live on another person property without the possibility of changing those circumstances. They may:

  • Be living and working for a family in a private home
  • Not be eating with the rest of the family
  • Have no bedroom or proper sleeping place
  • Have no private space
  • Be forced to work excessive hours; “on call” 24 hours a day
  • Never leave the house without the ‘employer’
  • Be malnourished
  • Be reported as missing or accused of crime by their ‘employer’ if they try to escape
How to spot possible victims of county lines

There are several signs to look out for when someone has been lured into this activity; these include:

  • Change in behaviour
  • Signs of assault and/or malnutrition
  • Access to numerous phones
  • Use of unusual terms e.g. going country
  • Associating with gangs
  • Unexplained bus or train tickets
  • School truancy or going missing
  • Unexplained gifts (clothes, trainers) and cash

Who is Affected?

The number of people identified as potential victims of Modern Slavery has been rising year on year, with over 10,000 people referred to authorities in 2019. The true number of people trapped in Modern Slavery is estimated to be much higher. Modern Slavery in the UK can take many forms including sexual exploitation, labour exploitation, criminal exploitation, domestic servitude and organ harvesting. Forced labour is the most commonly identified form of Modern Slavery in the UK, fuelled by a drive for cheap products and services, with little regard for the people behind them. Criminal exploitation is a growing form of Modern Slavery. In the UK, British children are commonly forced into ‘county lines’ drug trafficking and Vietnamese nationals are trafficked to work in cannabis production.

Modern Slavery can affect children and adults irrespective of age, ethnicity, gender, religion or background.