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What is Modern Slavery (MS)?

Victims of modern slavery and human trafficking (MSHT) can be any age, gender, nationality and ethnicity.

They are often vulnerable people who are tricked, coerced or threatened into involvement with work, or potentially criminal activity. 

They are then not able to leave or report their exploitative situation due to fear, control or physical intimidation. It is possible that people may not recognise themselves as victims of modern slavery even though they could be being unlawfully exploited.

MSHT encompasses a wide range of abuses including; slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour and trafficking for the purpose of exploiting a person. These are typically for financial benefit though this is not always the principle motivation.

  • Slavery is the status or condition of a victim over whom rights of ownership are exercised by their exploiter.
  • Servitude is linked to slavery but includes an obligation for a person to work for the exploiter, to live on the exploiter’s property and for it to be impossible for them to change their circumstances.
  • Forced or compulsory labour is all work or service (lawful or unlawful) which a victim is forced or compelled to do and for which they do not volunteer.
  • Human Trafficking is the arrangement or facilitation of a victims travel, with the intention of exploiting them.

The forms of modern slavery and trafficking with a view to exploitation you may encounter.

Labour exploitation - Working for offenders, or working for someone other than offenders

Domestic servitude - Exploited by partner, relatives or someone not related to them, with whom they live

Sexual exploitation - Child sexual exploitation by group or individual. Sex work in fixed or changing location, trafficking for personal or third-party gratification

Criminal exploitation - Forced gang-related activity, forced labour in illegal activities, forced acquisitive crime/begging, financial exploitation and sham marriages. 

It is not necessary for the use of force to be evident in the criminal exploitation of a child.

Last Updated on February 19, 2024

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