Modern Slavery

What is Modern Slavery?

Modern Slavery is a term introduced in the UK in 2013, to describe all offences previously described as human trafficking, slavery, forced labour and domestic servitude.

Human Trafficking is the movement or recruitment of people by deception or coercion with the purpose of exploiting them.

Exploitation can take place in a number of ways, including:

  • Criminal exploitation
  • Domestic Servitude
  • Labour exploitation
  • Sexual exploitation

Victims are forced to work against their will in many different settings, including brothels, cannabis farms, nail bars, car washes, agriculture and even within people's homes.

Signs to look out for

Appearance: Signs of physical or psychological abuse, look malnourished or unkempt, or appear withdrawn

Isolation: Victims may rarely be allowed to travel on their own, seem under the control, influence of others, rarely interact or appear unfamiliar with their neighbourhood or where they work

Poor living conditions: Victims may be living in dirty, cramped or overcrowded accommodation, and / or living and working at the same address

Few or no personal belongings: Victims may have no identification documents, have few personal possessions and always wear the same clothes day in day out. What clothes they do wear may not be suitable for their work

Restricted freedom of movement: Victims may have no identification documents (e.g. Passport), have few personal possessions and always wear the same clothes day in day out. What clothes they do wear may not be suitable for their work

Unusual travel times: They may be dropped off / collected for work on a regular basis either very early or late at night

Reluctant to seek help: Victims may avoid eye contact, appear frightened or hesitant to talk to strangers and fear law enforcers for many reasons, such as not knowing who to trust or where to get help, fear of deportation, fear of violence to them or their family.

If there is an immediate danger to the suspected victim or if you think that the suspected victim is under 18, inform the police and call 999 as a matter of urgency.

For 24/7 information and support contact the Modern Slavery Helpline: 0800 0121 700.

Information from the community, can play a vital role in tackling modern slavery, no matter how small or insignificant. If you see something suspicious, call police on 101.

You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Willow Project (Victim Service):

Willow Project are the new modern slavery and exploitation victim service serving the Thames Valley region. They provide prevention work, crisis intervention and ongoing support to both victims and their families.  The support the charity offers is on both a practical and emotional level on any issues that are important to them and ranges from help with housing, benefits, education and employment, assistance through court processes, advocating at meetings, to hospital visits and arranging food and clothes parcels etc.

You can contact Willow Project via: 0753 824 1045 or

Modern Slavery is closer than you think. This film includes information on how to spot potential victims, how they may be exploited and what you can do to help free the UK from Modern Slavery.

Video Modern Slavery