What is Modern Slavery?
Modern Slavery is a term introduced in the UK in 2013, to describe all offences previously described as human trafficking, slavery, forced labour and domestic servitude.
Human Trafficking is the movement or recruitment of people by deception or coercion with the purpose of exploiting them.
Exploitation can take place in a number of ways, including:
- Criminal Exploitation
- Domestic Servitude
- Labour Exploitation
- Sexual Exploitation
Victims are forced to work against their will in many different settings, including brothels, cannabis farms, nail bars, car washes, agriculture and even within people's homes.
Signs to look out for
- Appearance: Signs of physical or psychological abuse, look malnourished or unkempt, or appear withdrawn
- Isolation: Victims may rarely be allowed to travel on their own, seem under the control, influence of others, rarely interact or appear unfamiliar with their neighbourhood or where they work
- Poor living conditions: Victims may be living in dirty, cramped or overcrowded accommodation, and / or living and working at the same address
- Few or no personal belongings: Victims may have no identification documents, have few personal possessions and always wear the same clothes day in day out. What clothes they do wear may not be suitable for their work
- Restricted freedom of movement: Victims may have no identification documents (e.g. Passport), have few personal possessions and always wear the same clothes day in day out. What clothes they do wear may not be suitable for their work
- Unusual travel times: They may be dropped off / collected for work on a regular basis either very early or late at night
- Reluctant to seek help: Victims may avoid eye contact, appear frightened or hesitant to talk to strangers and fear law enforcers for many reasons, such as not knowing who to trust or where to get help, fear of deportation, fear of violence to them or their family.
If there is an immediate danger to the suspected victim or if you think that the suspected victim is under 18, inform the police and call 999 as a matter of urgency. Use the following numbers to report a concern:
- if you are concerned about a child, call the First Response Team on 01296 383 962
- if you are concerned about an adult, call the Safeguarding Adults Team on 0800 137915
- to report concerns outside of office hours, call the emergency duty team on 0800 999 7677
- call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 0121 700
Information from the community can play a vital role in tackling modern slavery, no matter how small or insignificant. If you see something suspicious, call the police on 101.
You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Missing and Exploitation Hub
The Missing and Exploitation Hub is a multi-agency team made up of partners from Childrens Social Care, Thames Valley Police, Barnardo's, Health and Education, as well as a Parent worker, currently provided by Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Partnership. The team supports victims of all forms of exploitation and can work with and sign post those in need of support (up to the age of 25).
You can contact them by calling the First Response Team on 01296 383 962.
Victims First provides free emotional and practical support to all victims and witnesses of crime, as well as family members of victims. It is available across Buckinghamshire and can provide help regardless of whether or not the crime has been reported to the police.
The support offered is on both a practical and emotional level, from help with housing, benefits, education and employment, assistance through court processes, advocating at meetings, to hospital visits and arranging food and clothes parcels etc.
You can contact Victims First by calling 0300 1234 148 or by visiting their website.
Modern Slavery is closer than you think. The film below includes information on how to spot potential victims, how they may be exploited and what you can do to help free the UK of Modern Slavery.