Slavery did not end with abolition in the 19th century.
The practice still continues today in one form or another in every country in the world. From women forced into prostitution, children and adults forced to work in agriculture, domestic work, or factories and sweatshops producing goods for global supply chains, entire families forced to work for nothing to pay off generational debts, or girls forced to marry older men, the illegal practice still blights contemporary world.
According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) around 21 million men, women and children around the world are in a form of slavery.
If you suspect someone might be a victim of slavery, you can:
- Call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 or fill out an online form.
- Contact the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority to report concerns about the mistreatment of workers on 0800 432 0804, or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111
- Contact South Yorkshire Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency
- Contact Anti-Slavery International or other specialist anti-slavery organisations
People often confuse human trafficking and people smuggling. People smuggling is the illegal movement of people across international borders for a fee. On arrival, the smuggled person is free.
Human trafficking is different. It involves recruitment, harbouring or transporting people into a situation of exploitation through the use of violence, deception or coercion and forced to work against their will.
In other words, trafficking is a process of enslaving people, coercing them into a situation with no way out, and exploiting them.
People can be trafficked for many different forms of exploitation such as forced prostitution, forced labour, forced begging, forced criminality, domestic servitude, forced marriage, and forced organ removal.
Contrary to a common misconception, people don’t necessarily have to be transported across borders for trafficking to take place. In fact, transporting or moving the victim doesn’t necessarily define trafficking.
When children are trafficked, no violence or coercion needs to be involved. Simply bringing them into exploitative conditions constitutes trafficking.
Trafficking for sexual exploitation gets much attention. However, the majority of people are trafficked into labour exploitation.
(The above information is from the Anti-Slavery website, please visit for more information)