Modern slavery is the term used for the exploitation of people for profit. It can include:
- sexual exploitation
- forced labour
- organ harvesting
Human trafficking is the transport of people into a situation where they are forced to work against their will by other people, using deception and threatening behaviour.
Victims may be children and vulnerable adults in the UK and people brought from overseas.
We have an important role in preventing modern slavery and working with other agencies to identify, support and safeguard potential victims.
Spot the signs
There is no typical victim of modern slavery. Often victims fail to understand that they are being exploited. Many victims do not speak English.
Signs of slavery are often hidden but there are some common signs to be aware of.
- have unexplained injuries or look malnourished
- not be allowed to travel on their own. They may seem under the control of other people
- be living in dirty, cramped or overcrowded accommodation or living and working at the same address
- always wear the same clothes
- always be dropped off at work and collected after work
- avoid eye contact and be hesitant to talk to strangers or the police
- be accompanied by someone else who speaks for them
Child victims may not always demonstrate outward signs of distress but may be withdrawn. They may have a bond with those exploiting them and will have been groomed to not disclose any abusive behaviour.
You can find more information at Unseen UK.
Report a concern
Call the police on 999 straight away if someone is in immediate danger and you believe they are being trafficked.
In non-emergency situations you should call us if you have concerns about the safety of a child or an adult:
Call 101 for non-emergency reports to Avon and Somerset Police.
Visit the Anti Slavery Partnership website for further information, training and resources.