The Home Office predicts that there may be as many as 13,000 victims in the UK alone.
Poverty, war and limited opportunities at home are some of the key drivers which can make someone vulnerable to being trafficked and exploited. Victims of slavery can be men, women or children of all ages.
There are several different types of modern slavery, which in the UK, are prohibited under the 2015 Modern Slavery Act. It can include children and adults forced to work in agriculture, domestic work, factories and sweatshops, or girls forced to marry older men.
Someone is in slavery if they are:
- forced to work through mental or physical threat
- owned or controlled by an 'employer', usually through mental or physical abuse or the threat of abuse
- dehumanised, treated as a commodity or bought and sold as ‘property’
- physically constrained or have restrictions placed on his/her freedom
National Reference Mechanism
The National Referral Mechanism (NRM) is a framework for identifying victims of human trafficking or modern slavery and ensuring they receive the appropriate support.
The NRM is also the mechanism through which the Modern Slavery Human Trafficking Unit (MSHTU) collect data about victims. This information contributes to building a clearer picture about the scope of human trafficking and modern slavery in the UK.
Find out how the NRM process works and download the latest statistics here.
Victims of Modern Slavery – frontline staff guidance (Home Office, March 2016)