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Report modern slavery

Modern slavery is the movement and trade of people of any age, often for the purpose of sexual exploitation, forced labour or organ harvesting. Modern slavery can include victims who have been brought from overseas or vulnerable people in the UK.

Human traffickers can use threats or force, abduction, deception or false promises to recruit, transport, receive and hide their victims.

Spot the signs

Communities have an important role to play in recognising abuse. Signs of slavery are often hidden, making it even harder to recognise victims around us. Look out for:

Poor physical appearance

Victims may show signs of physical or psychological abuse, look malnourished or unkempt/untidy, or appear withdrawn and neglected. They may have untreated injuries.


Victims may rarely be allowed to travel on their own, seem under the control, influence of others, rarely interact or appear unfamiliar with their neighbourhood or where they work.

Poor living conditions

Victims may be living in dirty, cramped or overcrowded accommodation, or living and working at the same address.

Few or no belongings

Victims may have no identification documents, have few personal possessions and always wear the same clothes all day, every day.

Restricted freedom of movement

Victims may have little opportunity to move freely and may have had their travel documents retained, such as passports.

Unusual travel times

They may be dropped off or collected for work on a regular basis, either very early in the morning or late at night.

Reluctance to seek help

Victims may avoid eye contact, appear frightened or hesitant to talk to strangers. They may fear law enforcers for many reasons, such as not knowing who to trust or where to get help, fear of deportation, fear of violence to them or their family.

They may be accompanied by someone else who speaks for them.


Children may not always demonstrate outward signs of distress and may have a ‘bond’ with those exploiting them and have been groomed to not disclose their abuse – however, they are likely to be very scared and traumatised.

If you recognise any of these signs and suspect someone may be a victim of modern slavery, tell someone. You will always be taken seriously and protection and support is available.

Report modern slavery

When reporting modern slavery, try to provide any:

  • names
  • addresses or locations
  • ages or age ranges
  • number plates, if any vehicles are involved
  • details as to why you believe it is modern slavery

Immediate danger

If you believe a person is being trafficked and is in immediate danger, call 999.

You can report suspected modern slavery :

Information about a suspected vulnerable or exploited person

If you are in a profession such as a teacher or social worker, you may be exposed to certain situations which you feel the police should be aware of concerning vulnerable people.

If you believe a child or adult is vulnerable or being exploited, you can use this form to provide intelligence or information to the police.

Support for victims of modern slavery

Read our support for victims of modern slavery

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