Modern slavery

What is modern slavery?

Modern slavery is a growing problem globally and can take many forms, including the coercion, exploitation, deception and/or trafficking of people for labour, sex, criminality, organ removal, marriage and servitude.  

Although slavery is illegal in every country, it still happens all over the world, including in Hertfordshire. It can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender and ethnicity.

More information is available on the modern slavery and exploitation website.

Spotting the Signs

The signs of modern slavery and exploitation are often hidden, making it difficult to recognise potential victims.

However, the most common signs are:

  • Restricted freedom of movement and/or isolation.
  • No identification documents and/or these documents being held by someone else.
  • Poor working and/or living conditions.
  • Unusual travel times to and from work and/or unidentified locations.
  • Fear and/or reluctance to seek help.
  • Lack of knowledge and/or dependency on others.
  • Poor physical appearance (signs of abuse, unexplained injuries and/or malnourishment).
  • Few personal possessions and/or clothes.

Signs specific to children could also include:

  • An unknown adult caring for a child i.e. an absent parent or legal guardian.
  • Several unrelated children found at a single address.
  • Frequently moving or travelling to/from different locations.
  • Poor school attendance and withdrawal from activities, family, friends etc.
  • Tiredness and/or aggression.
  • Travelling unaccompanied by an adult and/or in groups with persons who are not relatives.
  • Use of inappropriate and/or over-sexualised language.
  • Association with known or suspected gang members.

More information is available to help in spotting the signs, including signs for specific industries.

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