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Modern Slavery


What is Modern Slavery?

Modern slavery is a term that includes any form of human trafficking, slavery, servitude or forced labour, as set out in the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

The term encompasses:

  • Dehumanising a person.
  • Forcing someone to work against their will.
  • Restricting someone’s freedom of movement.
  • Treating someone as a commodity or property.
  • Defining a person as owned or controlled by another.

Modern Slavery is a crime!!!

There is no typical victim of Modern Slavery. Victims of Modern Slavery can be men, women and children of any age across the world.  There is an assumption that victims of modern slavery are trafficked to the UK from other countries, but residents of the UK are also among the victims that are exploited in the UK.  However, there are some key issues that could contributed to a person’s vulnerability in becoming a victim of Modern Slavery:

  • Poverty
  • Lack of education
  • Untastable social and political conditions
  • Economic imbalances
  • Climate change
  • War

Types of Slavery:

There are five main types of exploitation that victims of modern slavery may experience:

  • Labour exploitation – Victims are forced to work for nothing, low wages or a wage that is kept by their owner; work is involuntary, forced and/or under the threat of a penalty; and the working conditions can be poor.
  • Sexual exploitation – Victims are exploited through non-consensual abuse or another person’s sexuality for the purpose of sexual gratification, financial gain, personal benefit or advantage, or any other non-legitimate purpose.
  • Domestic servitude – Victims are domestic workers who perform a range of household tasks, for example, cooking and cleaning; some live with their employers and have low pay, if any at all.
  • Criminal exploitation – Victims are forced to work under the control of criminals in activities such as forced begging, shoplifting, pickpocketing, cannabis cultivation, drug dealing and financial exploitation.
  • Organ harvesting – Living or deceased victims are recruited, transported or transferred, by threat or force for money, for their organs.




Modern Slavery victims support:

Ending Modern Slavery requires us all to work together within our communities and across our partnerships, as we relentlessly tackle this crime.   In the West Midlands, there is a multi-agency Preventing Violence against Vulnerable People (PVVP) Programme, which supports the development of integrated practice across the West Midlands Metropolitan area.  Its aims are  to prevent and raise awareness of hidden crimes such as Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking, to safeguard, protect and support vulnerable victims and importantly pursue and hold offenders to account for their behaviour.

Suspect someone is a victim of modern slavery?

Call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 or visit the File a report page online.

If someone is in immediate danger, always call 999.

For Government information on Modern Slavery that brings together documents and promotional material related to the government’s work to end modern slavery.

For more information see

For local information see abuse

National Referral Mechanism

What is the National Referral Mechanism (NRM)?

The NRM is the UK framework for identifying victims of modern slavery and ensuring they receive appropriate support.  For further information please review the Home Office National Referral Mechanism guidance.