Hate, Prevent and Exploitation
Modern Slavery includes human trafficking, slavery and forced labour. The government estimates that tens of thousands of people are in modern slavery in the UK today. Most people are traficked into the UK from overseas, but there are also a significant number of British nationals in slavery. The most common countries of origin are Albania, Vietnam, Nigeria, Romania and Poland.
Most commonly people are trafficked into forced labour into industries such as agriculture, construction, hospitality, manufacturing and car washes. Many women and girls are trafficked for sexual exploitation or domestic slavery. Others, particularly children, are forced into crime such as cannabis production, petty theft or begging.
Below are some of the signs that indicate trafficking or slavery. It is not an exhaustive list, so if you have any concerns about an individual or situation, please call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 or the Police on 999 if you suspect someone is in immediate danger.
- Physical Appearance - if someone looks malnourished or unkempt, withdrawn or has untreated injuries. They may wear the same clothes daily, which may not be suitable for their work, or have few personal posessions.
- Isolation - someone is rarely allowed to travel on their own, seems under the control of others, rarely interacts or seems unfamiliar with their neighbourhood or where they work.
- Poor living conditions - dirty, cramped or overcrowded accommodation, and / or living and working at the same address.
- Restricted freedom of movement - no identification documents, little opportunity to move freely or someone may have had their travel documentation retained, e.g. passports.
- Unusual travel times - a person may be dropped off / collected for work on a regular basis, either very early in the morning or late at night.
- Reluctant to seek help - they 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 you are concerned about a potential victim, or suspicious about a situation that could be exploitative, you can call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700. The helpline is operated by Unseen, open 24/7 and entirely confidential, Trained advisors can take details of concerns and pass them on to the most appropriate agency to ensure victims are safeguarded and supported as quickly as possible.
For further information, please see the Leicestershire Police website.