What is modern slavery?
Slavery remains a reality in the modern world. It takes place across the globe and behind closed doors and is happening here in the UK.
The government believe that up to 20,000 children, men and women are being exploited across the country every day, victims who are hidden from view.
The human and financial impact is huge, with its cost to the UK estimated at as much as £5 billion.
It can take many forms, including:
- sexual exploitation
- domestic servitude
- forced labour
- forced criminality
- organ harvesting
- forced or sham marriage.
Recognising modern slavery
Anyone can be a victim of modern slavery, and they will often be 'invisible' to many of us in society.
Here are some signs to look out for in a potential victim:
- they may be fearful, anxious or distrustful of authorities
- they may be malnourished
- they may show signs of physical or psychological trauma
- they may have injuries that appear to be caused by controlling measures or that have been left untreated
- they may be unfamiliar with local language or context
- they do not know their address
- they have a background story that sounds rehearsed
- they are dependent on another person, who seems to be their controller
- others speak for them when they are addressed directly
- they have no ID documents
- they do not appear to have any days off, or seem to leave their work environment
- they have limited or no social interaction
- they have had threats made against them or their family.
Reporting modern slavery
If you are a victim, or have seen anything unusual that might indicate that someone is being exploited, you can report it to the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700. The helpline provides help and advice 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
If you would prefer to make an online report, please visit Modern Slavery Helpline.
In an emergency, call 999.
The publication, 'Help for adult victims of Modern Slavery', is available in 11 languages, and provides information on your rights and where to find support for those who think they may be a victim of modern slavery in the UK:
- Shqip (Albanian)
- český (Czech)
- Magyar (Hungarian)
- Lietuviškai (Lithuanian)
- 普通話 (Mandarin)
- Polsku (Polish)
- Romaneste (Romanian)
- Slovensky (Slovakian)
- Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
- Èdè Yorùbá (Yoruba)
Lambeth and modern slavery
Lambeth Council is committed to preventing and taking action against identified Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking in its corporate activities, supply chains and the wider community.
Our modern slavery annual statement covers the activities of the council in relation to direct employees of the council, agency workers and third parties delivering services on behalf of the council and the council’s supply chains.
Read the Modern Slavery Annual Statement 2022-23 (PDF 166.48 KB)