Modern slavery is the illegal exploitation of people for personal or commercial gain. It covers a wide range of abuse and exploitation including sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, forced labour, criminal exploitation and organ harvesting.
There is no typical victim of modern slavery. Victims can be men, women and children of all ages, ethnicity, nationality and backgrounds.
Modern slavery could be happening in your community so it’s important you know the signs that could indicate someone is a victim of this crime.
The signs aren’t always obvious but there are some that you may notice:
Do they look scruffy, malnourished or injured?
Are they acting anxious, afraid or unable to make eye contact?
Are they doing long hours, wearing unsuitable clothing or have the wrong equipment for the job?
Is where they are living overcrowded, poorly maintained or are the curtains always closed?
Do they behave like they’re being instructed by someone else, picked up/dropped off at the same time and place every day or don’t have access to money or identification?
Communities have an important role to play in recognising abuse. If you recognise any of the above signs and suspect someone may be a victim of modern slavery, tell someone. You will always be taken seriously and protection and support is available.
To report a suspicion or seek advice you can contact the Modern Slavery Helpline confidentially on 08000 121 700. This is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
You can also report it to us online or call 101 at any time to report an incident. If you’re deaf or hard of hearing, use the textphone service on 18001 101.
Should you wish to remain anonymous you can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.