Frequently asked questions about Modern-day slavery

What is human trafficking?

Human trafficking occurs when adults or children are exploited through the use of violence, deception or coercion and forced to do something against their will. People can be trafficked for many different forms of exploitation such as: forced prostitution or sexual exploitation, forced labour, including domestic servitude, forced begging, forced criminality, forced marriage and organ harvesting.

When children are trafficked, no violence, deception or coercion needs to be involved: simply bringing them into exploitative conditions constitutes trafficking.

What sort of support is available to victims of modern-day slavery

Victims of modern-day slavery can access practical support such as housing and help with financial, legal and immigration issues and emotional support to cope and recover from their experience.  The national modern slavery helpline, operated by NSPCC on behalf of the Home Office, can provide advice and signposting to relevant support organisations; 0800 0121 700.

What types of slavery exist in the UK?

The following is a non-exhaustive list of different types of modern-day slavery that exist in the UK today

Domestic Servitude

Victims are forced to carry out housework and domestic chores in private households with little or no pay, restricted movement, very limited or no free time and minimal privacy often sleeping where they work

Forced Criminality

Often controlled and maltreated, victims are forced into crimes such as cannabis cultivation or pick pocketing against their will

Sexual exploitation

Victims are forced to perform non-consensual or abusive sexual acts against their will, such as prostitution, escort work and pornography. Whilst women and children make up the majority of victims, men can also be affected. Adults are coerced often under the threat of force, or another penalty

Forced labour

Victims are forced to work against their will, often working very long hours for little or no pay in dire conditions under verbal or physical threats of violence to them or their families. It can happen in many sectors of our economy, from mining to tarmacking, hospitality and food packaging

Debt Bondage

Victims are forced to work to pay off debts that realistically they never will be able to. Low wages and increased debts mean not only that they cannot ever hope to pay off the loan, but the debt may be passed down to their children