What is Modern Slavery?

Modern Slavery is an umbrella term encompassing human trafficking, forced labour, servitude and slavery.  

Someone can be said to be in Modern Slavery if they are: 

a) forced to work

b) if they are owned or controlled by an employer

c) if they are treated as a commodity

d) or have restrictions made on their freedom

Human trafficking is the movement of a person for the purpose of profit. It can be broken down into three parts:

  • The act, which is the recruitment, harbouring, transfer, and receipt of victims. 
  • The means by which a trafficker controls a victim: coercion, threat, deceit, or fraud.
  • The purpose is the type of exploitation that the victim is subject to - sexual, criminal, labour, domestic or organ harvesting.

A national border does not need to be crossed for human trafficking to occur - a person can be trafficked within a country. Human trafficking is distinct from human smuggling, which does not involve the 'purpose' of exploitation.

Modern Slavery can happen to anyone. It happens to men, women and children from every walk of life. However, it does disproportionately effect people with pre-existing vulnerabilities that a trafficker can exploit. Poverty, limited opportunities at home, lack of education, unstable social and political conditions, economic imbalances and war are some of the key drivers that contribute to the trafficking of people.

In 2021 British was the most recorded victim nationality in the UK. 

Across the South West potential victims of slavery and trafficking have been identified on farms, in nail bars, in massage parlours, cannabis factories, car washes, care homes, takeaways/restaurants, homeless shelters, private residential homes and many more everyday places.