Modern Slavery is an international crime, affecting an estimated 46.8 million people globally (globalslaveryindex.org).
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 states that -
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
Slavery includes victims that have been brought from overseas, and vulnerable people in the UK, being forced to illegally work against their will. Modern slavery involves one person obtaining or holding another person in compelled service.
People may be victims regardless of whether they were born into servitude or were transported into an exploitative situation, whether they once consented to work for a trafficker, or whether they participated in a crime as a direct result of slavery.
According to National Crime Agency statistics, in 2015, 3,266 people were identified as being potential victims of human trafficking and modern slavery in the UK. However, the Home Office in 2013 predicted this number could be as high as 13,000 victims. If this statistic is accurate we are currently only identifying 25% of the potential victims in the UK.
Victims found in the UK come from many different countries including Albania, Nigeria, Vietnam and the UK itself. 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 trafficking of victims.
Across the South West potential victims of slavery and trafficking have been identified on farms, at nail bars, in massage parlours, cannabis factories, car washes, takeaways/restaurants, homeless shelters, private residential homes and many more everyday places.