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Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking

Modern slavery and human trafficking guidance identifying and reporting perpetrators

What is Modern Slavery?

Modern Slavery is the term used when someone is coerced or forced to do something they don't want to do, and another person gains from it. 

  • Victims of modern slavery are exploited and abused.
  • Victims of modern slavery are held against their will and are often unseen or unheard.
  • Victims of modern slavery can be of any age, gender, nationality, and ethnicity.

Someone is in slavery if they are:

  • forced to work – through coercion, or mental and/or physical threat;
  • trapped and controlled by an ’employer’, through mental or physical abuse or the threat of abuse;
  • dehumanised, treated as a commodity or bought and sold as ‘property’;
  • physically constrained or have restrictions placed on their freedom of movement.

Types of modern slavery:

Modern slavery takes many forms. The most common are: 

Domestic Servitude

People working in private homes who have been forced or coerced into serving.  They are usually not paid and are often fraudulently convinced that they have no option to leave.

Sex Trafficking

Women, men or children who are forced into the commercial sex industry and held against their will by force, fraud or coercion.

Forced Labour

People who are forced to work under the threat of violence and for little to no pay. These slaves are treated as property and are exploited to create a product for commercial sale.

Bonded Labour

Individuals who are compelled to work in order to repay a debt and are unable to leave until the debt is repaid.  Usually the ‘debt’ will never be repaid.  It is the most common form of enslavement in the world.

Child Labour

Any enslavement — whether forced labour, domestic servitude, bonded labour or sex trafficking — of a child.

Forced Marriage

Adults and children who are forced to marry another without their consent or against their will.

County Lines – Movement of Drugs

County Lines involves gangs and criminal networks from towns who exploit children, young people and vulnerable adults to deliver class A drugs to customers across a county and into more rural areas. This often involves vulnerable people being subjected to deception, intimidation, violence and grooming.

What is Human Trafficking?

Human Trafficking is the movement of people by means such as force, fraud, coercion, abduction, or deception, with the aim of exploiting them into some form of Modern Slavery.

Victims of trafficking are traded for financial gain, either within their own countries or internationally. Trafficked people have little choice in what happens to them, and often suffer abuse due to violence and threats made against them or their families.

Human trafficking is a crime and British nationals as well as foreign nationals can be victims. It does not have to include crossing an international border or country border. Movement can be as little as from one street to another, taking someone next door, or even just taking someone into another room.

How to report concerns:

Modern Slavery is a crime that is hidden from plain sight but, occurs everywhere around us.

Modern Slavery should always be reported if you see something suspicious, no matter how small. There are several ways you can report Modern Slavery.

In an emergency, or if you or someone else is in immediate danger, you should always call 999

Concerns about a child:

Contact the Torbay Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub: Hub - Torbay Safeguarding Children Partnership

Concerns about an adult:

Modern Slavery Helpline:

The Modern Slavery Helpline and Resource Centre provide victims, the public, agencies and businesses access to information and support on a 24/7 basis. Find out more Modern Slavery Helpline

You can report in the following ways:

  • Call the modern slavery helpline 08000 121 700
  • Use the online form
  • Use the Unseen App

Devon and Cornwall Police:

Report a crime | Devon & Cornwall Police (

Or call: 101

Further Information:

Contact Community Safety Partnership