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Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking


Human trafficking and modern slavery are thought to be amongst the most widespread crimes in the world, affecting millions of men, women and children each day.

This is happening in Warwickshire.We all need to be aware of what this is, understand what it involves, be able to spot the signs and know how to respond to and report concerns.

The video below shows Ope’s story. Four years ago, 28-year-old Ope was brought from Nigeria to Coventry to work as a prostitute. Ope told her story to the Victoria Derbyshire Programme. Her name and some have been changed for her own protection.



What Is Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking?

Human Trafficking is:

The movement or recruitment by deception or coercion for the purpose of exploitation.

Modern Slavery acts as an umbrella term, which covers a number of human rights issues, of which human trafficking is one, it encompasses:

  • Slavery – including bonded labour, child slavery such as child labour and trafficking, early and forced marriage, forced labour, descent-based slavery and trafficking.
  • Human Trafficking
  • Domestic Servitude – victims are forced to carry out housework and domestic chores in private households for little or no pay.
  • Forced/Compulsory Labour – victims are forced to work against their will, often working very long hours for little or no pay in dire conditions and with verbal and physical threats made to them.
  • Debt bondage – victims are forced to work to pay off debts often accrued by travelling to their place of exploitation with no real prospect of paying off the debt.

Traffickers and slave masters use whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude, and inhumane treatment.

There are many forms of exploitation into which people can be trafficked and held in slavery.

These crimes are happening in every corner of the world and can include any person, regardless of age, socio-economic background or location. As a result, each case can look very different.

Warning Signs To Look Out For

Whilst each case of Modern Slavery can look different, there are signs which are common across multiple forms of exploitation, which may suggest an individual is at risk of, or is a victim of a form of Modern Slavery. These signs include if someone:

  • acts as if instructed by another, as though they are forced or coerced to carry out specific activities
  • demonstrates signs of physical or psychological abuse, such as lacking self esteem, seeming anxious, bruising or untreated medical conditions
  • seems to be bonded by debt; has money deducted from their salary; or has a lack of access to earnings
  • has little or no contact with family or loved ones
  • is distrustful of authorities
  • has threats made against themselves or family members
  • is not in possession of their own legal documents (Passport or documents are held by someone else)

The Stop The Traffik website has additional details of warning signs which may be more apparent with specific forms of slavery.

Emerging National and Local Trends:

  • Recruiters – strangers, acquaintances, friends
  • People offered and accept high-risk jobs
  • Borderline cases, not enough evidence
  • Borders crossed legally
  • Recruiters create the illusion of “wellbeing”, manipulate the victims
  • Shorter period of exploitation
  • More labor trafficking cases and men-victims identified
  • Less victims identifying themselves as such

Reporting Concerns & Support
UK Modern Slavery Helpline and Resource Centre – Call 08000 121 700

The Modern Slavery Helpline and Resource Centre brings us closer to the eradication of modern slavery. They provide victims, the public, statutory agencies and businesses access to report concerns and get help support and advice, on a 24/7 basis.

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

Support for Professionals
The following links provide information for professionals, working with children and/or adults, on Modern Day Slavery and Human Trafficking:

Warwickshire Safeguarding Adults

Warwickshire Safeguarding Children

Support for Warwickshire Businesses

The Transparency in Supply Chains provision in the Modern Slavery Act 2015 seeks to address the role of businesses in preventing modern slavery from occurring in their supply chains and organisations. Find out more information on Warwickshire Business Watch.


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