The United Nations defines human trafficking as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring, or receipt of persons by improper means (such as force, abduction, fraud, or coercion) for an improper purpose including forced labor or sexual exploitation. While high profile cases of trafficking occasionally appear in national news reports, it is believed that these represent only a tiny proportion of occurrences and that human trafficking and slavery are happening just below the surface of our society on a much larger scale. Victims are often so terrified by fear of retribution, or so broken by their experience, that they are unable to escape their enslavers even when opportunities arise. This means that victims frequently appear to enjoy day to day freedoms, which mask their true situation.
Extract from the National Crime Agency website:
There are several broad categories of exploitation linked to human trafficking, including:
- Sexual exploitation
- Forced labour
- Domestic servitude
- Organ harvesting
- Child related crimes such as child sexual exploitation, forced begging, illegal drug cultivation, organised theft, related benefit frauds etc
- Forced marriage and illegal adoption (if other constituent elements are present)
Find out more about the different types of exploitation
Report crimes of modern slavery:
In the first instance the point of contact for all modern slavery crimes should be the local police force. If you have information about modern slavery crimes – those who are committing such crimes or where victims are at risk that requires an immediate response dial 999.
If you hold information that could lead to the identification, discovery and recovery of victims in the UK, you can contact the Modern Slavery Helpline 08000 121 700.
For more information visit www.unseenuk.org
Alternatively you can make calls anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
West Midlands Police and Barnardo’s have produced an information leaflet, which advises professionals on how to refer suspicions of child trafficking: Referrals Info Sheet