Victims of modern day slavery
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What is modern slavery?
Modern slavery is illegal in the UK and is covered by the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
Victims of modern slavery can be any age, gender, nationality and ethnicity.
Most people are trafficked into the UK from overseas, but there is also a significant number of British nationals in slavery.
The most common countries of origin are Albania, Vietnam, Nigeria, Romania and Poland.
Victims of modern slavery are exploited and trapped in their situations by lies, coercion, threats to themselves or their families, violence and debt.
Most commonly people are trafficked into forced labour in industries such as agriculture, construction, hospitality, manufacturing and car washes. Many women and girls are trafficked for sexual exploitation.
Many people, again mostly women and girls, also end up in domestic slavery. Others, in particular children, are forced into crime such as cannabis production, petty theft or begging.
Signs of slavery can include:
- Appearing to be in the control of someone else and reluctant to interact with others
- Not having personal identification on them.
- Having few personal belongings, wear the same clothes every day or wear unsuitable clothes for work.
- Not being able to move around freely and may have travel documents kept from them such as passports.
- Being reluctant to talk to strangers or the authorities.
- Appearing frightened, withdrawn, or showing signs of physical or psychological abuse.
- Dropped off and collected for work always in the same way, especially at unusual times, i.e. very early or late at night.
- Looking malnourished or unkempt.
National Referral Mechanism (NRM)
To help victims of human trafficking and modern day slavery the Government in 2009 established the National Referral Mechanism (NRM).
The main purpose of the NRM system is to provide suitable support and protection to victims of human trafficking.
Only people known as 'first responders' such as police and local authorities can refer victims into the NRM system.
It is a voluntary decision by an adult victim of human trafficking to be referred to the NRM system. If an adult does not want to be referred then a 'first responder' would fill in a MSI form. This is where the victim is anonymous, but information is used for statistical purposes by the Government.
Children do not need to give consent, but would be informed that they are being referred into the system.
The decision as to whether someone can be officially classed as a victim of human trafficking is judged in two stages which are:
- Reasonable grounds.
- Conclusive grounds.
The main advantages of the NRM system includes:
- Accommodation in a 'safe house' if needed.
- Support and counselling
- Various forms of medical treatment.
- Help with various forms of education
- Legal advice.
- 45 day 'reflection period'.
Reporting concerns about human trafficking and modern day slavery
If you are a member of the public:
If you are concerned about local victims of modern slavery call the Discovery team via Sussex Police on 101.
You can also email them at Discovery@sussex.pnn.police.uk.
You can also follow their Twitter feed on @DiscoverySussex
Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 0121 700
Anonymous Crimestoppers on 0800555111
If someone is at immediate risk call 999.
Do not try to intervene on your own as it might make the situation worse.
Further information and support
- On this website go to www.modernslaveryhelpline.org/media/appeals to find some brief information in other languages.
- Website: snowdropproject.co.uk
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone No: 03338805008.
Other local support groups for human trafficking and modern day slavery:
King's Church in Hastings and Bexhill may be able to help you in a variety of ways. Through their foodbank, project for expectant mums and modern day slavery work, they might be able to help you if you are struggling financially. With a range of church activities they can also help you to find friendship and community.
You can visit their website for more information.
You can contact them via email email@example.com or you can call them on 01424 755990.
Other churches and religious groups may also offer help and support.
Victims of modern day slavery