What is Modern Slavery?

Anyone can become a victim of Modern Slavery, although the risk is increased when someone experiences poverty, mental health issues, drug addiction, homelessness, political instability and social exclusion. This means UK nationals can also be victims of slavery. The Home Office recently estimated there were approximately 10,000 -13,000 slaves in the UK today.

Someone is in slavery if one of the following is taking place:

      • They are forced to work – through mental or physical threat;
      • They are owned or controlled by an ‘employer’, usually through mental or physical abuse or the threat of abuse;
      • They are dehumanised, treated as a commodity or bought and sold as ‘property’;
      • They are physically constrained or have restrictions placed on his/her freedom of movement.

Almost all forms of Modern Slavery include some element of forced labour, which is ‘any work or services people are forced to do against their will’.  If someone has been moved into a situation of exploitation using deception, coercion of violence then this would constitute ‘trafficking’.  In the UK, people are most commonly trafficked for sexual exploitation, forced labour, forced marriage and domestic servitude.

Visit ‘Modern Slavery Factsheets’ page to download our NEW fact sheets about the main forms of slavery that are currently occurring across the United Kingdom.