There are different characteristics that distinguish modern day slavery from other types of human rights violations, but someone is considered to be experiencing slavery if they are experiencing one of the following;
- forced to work - either by physical threats or mental coercion;
- owned or controlled by another, usually through mental or physical abuse or the threat of abuse;
- dehumanised, being treated as a commodity or property;
- physically constrained or restricted in their freedom of movement.
Forms of modern day slavery include human trafficking, forced prostitution, forced labour, forced begging, forced criminality, domestic servitude and organ harvesting. More information on modern slavery is available via the Home Office Modern Slavery website or Anti-Slavery International.
The government is taking steps to tackle modern-day slavery through legislation and awareness raising, and there is support available to victims including a national helpline and specific support groups such as ECPAT, Unseen and the Salvation Army.