Modern slavery and human trafficking

Modern Slavery is the term used within the UK and is defined within the Modern Slavery Act 2015. The Act categorises offences of Slavery, Servitude and Forced or Compulsory Labour and Human Trafficking (the of which comes from the Palermo Protocol).

These crimes include holding a person in a position of slavery , servitude forced or compulsory labour, or facilitating their travel with the intention of exploiting them soon after.
Although human trafficking often involves an international cross-border element, it is also possible to be a victim of modern slavery within your own country.

It is possible to be a victim even if consent has been given to be moved.

Children cannot give consent to being exploited therefore the element of coercion or deception does not need to be present to prove an offence.

Modern Slavery Human Trafficking Unit (MSHTU) plays a central role in leading the NCA's fight against serious and organised crime.

Types of Human trafficking

There are several broad categories of exploitation linked to human trafficking, including:

  • Sexual exploitation
  • Forced labour
  • Domestic servitude
  • Organ harvesting
  • Child related crimes such as child sexual exploitation, forced begging, illegal drug cultivation, organised theft, related benefit frauds etc
  • Forced marriage and illegal adoption (if other constituent elements are present)

Find out more about the different types of exploitation.

Report crimes of modern slavery

In the first instance the point of contact for all modern slavery crimes should be the local police force. If you have information about modern slavery crimes – those who are committing such crimes or where victims are at risk that requires an immediate response dial 999.

If you hold information that could lead to the identification, discovery and recovery of victims in the UK, you can contact the Modern Slavery Helpline 08000 121 700.

For more information visit www.unseenuk.org

Alternatively you can make calls anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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