Modern day slavery is the fight of our generation. It is happening now in cities, towns and villages across the UK. Perhaps even on your street. People being bought and sold as goods and used for domestic servitude, forced labour, or sex work against their will — to make money for criminals.
As sobering as this is, we are not powerless. Migrant Help UK works with organisations such as the police and other partner agencies to deliver training to help people recognise potential victims — often vulnerable people who lack basic English and are too frightened to speak out for themselves.
With your support we can achieve so much more. We can further raise awareness of this crime and fund the services to help more people such as Sonia, Sade, Robert, Lilla, Darius and Ellie. Together, we can help them rebuild their lives.
What can YOU can do to help combat modern slavery?
£3 could pay for a victim of trafficking to attend an English or art therapy class provided by our dedicated volunteers
£8 could pay for a care package of female toiletries
£35 could pay for an appointment with a specialist psychotherapist
£10,000 could provide a room in a move-on safe house for a year
Volunteer your time or professional services to support victims of slavery and trafficking. Call 01304 203977 or visit Migrant Help UK.
Be a conscientious consumer. Check the source of what you are buying to ensure that it is not being produced by forced or child labour.
Recognise the signs that someone might be a victim.
If you notice someone lacks suitable clothing for their job; appears distrustful of authorities; is picked up by vehicles at unusual hours; appears isolated or fearful; lives in overcrowded accommodation; or is in need of medical attention — contact the police or call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700. If you work for a business and want help to ensure you have no modern slavery in your supply chain, you can contact Migrant Help UK or the Modern Slavery Helpline for further information and support.
What does the UK do to combat human trafficking?
England and Wales
In 2015 Parliament passed the Modern Slavery Act in England and Wales. It consolidated previous offences relating to trafficking and slavery. Those convicted now face a maximum statutory sentence of life imprisonment. The previous statutory maximum was 14 years.
Under the Act the key criminal offences are: Slavery, servitude and forced labour; Human trafficking: Committing an offence with the intention to commit human trafficking
The Act also allows a court to confiscate assets and impose reparations, and impose civil orders called Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Orders (STPOs). These can even be imposed after someone has served their sentence.
Scotland and Northern Ireland
In Scotland, similar offences are covered by the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Act 2015, while in Northern Ireland, offences are covered under the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Criminal Justice and Support for Victims) Act 2015.
Police forces throughout the UK co-ordinate their responses with other agencies when dealing with reports of modern slavery and human trafficking.
One example is Greater Manchester Police, which runs a Modern Slavery Co-ordination Unit. It brings together police, local housing associations, local authorities, Trading Standards, Immigration Enforcement and Border Force teams to look out for and recognise the signs of modern slavery.