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Modern Slavery Helpline Sees 46% Increase In Potential Victims

In 2018, The Modern Slavery Helpline saw a 46% rise in the number of potential victims identified – from 94 different nationalities – and a 62% increase in calls.

The figures have been highlighted in an annual report produced by Unseen, who run the helpline, which compares the 2018 figures to 2017, when the service first operated. An executive summary was also produced, which contains an infographic breakdown of the report.

The number of potential victims indicated by the Helpline in 2018 rose by 46% from 4,886 to 7,121. Approximately 46% of potential victims indicated are male, 21% are female, 33% are unknown and 0.04% are transgender. The most commonly known age bracket for potential victims was 18-24.

94 different nationalities were recorded by the Helpline on potential victims indicated.

  • 990 cases were reported for labour exploitation concerns
  • 262 cases were reported for sexual exploitation concerns
  • 178 cases were reported for domestic servitude concerns
  • 113 cases were reported for criminal exploitation concerns

Where Were Concerns Noted?

MSH 2018

Concerns of Labour exploitation were reported largely in car wash businesses, followed by the beauty/spa and construction sectors.

Data on Exploiters

For the first time, the Helpline also reported on the information it has received from callers and contacts relating to potential exploiters (PEs), their nationality, methods of recruitment and the relationship to those they exploit. Such information is vital to build a picture of the individuals who may be involved in targeting, recruiting and exploiting vulnerable people.

In terms of the relationship between the potential victim and exploiters:

  • 1167 were employers, which was highest with labour exploitation
  • 240 were recruiters
  • 157 are familial, which was highest for domestic servitude
  • 108 were intimate partners, which was highest for sexual exploitation
  • 4 were foster parents, all of which occurred in instances of domestic servitude

The Modern Slavery Helpline

Unseen set up the UK-wide Modern Slavery Helpline in October 2016 recognising that such a Helpline is vital in providing support, guidance and advice to vulnerable individuals in situations of modern slavery. As a resource available to all 24/7, 365 days a year the Helpline, staffed by trained specialists, provides realtime support to statutory agencies, businesses, the public and Potential Victims (PV).

Offering translation services, the Helpline can engage with Helpline poster and brochures at the UK Border individuals in their first language ensuring that they get advice and information they can understand.

If you have concerns about anyone in relation to Modern Slavery, you can contact the helpline on 08000 121 700.

If you have any concerns about someone you believe to be subjected to modern slavery you can also contact Warwickshire Police on 101. In an emergency call 999.

More information about exploitation in its many forms can be found on our dedicated information page.

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