Modern Slavery is increasingly making the news, and a new report has show how widespread it is in the UK.

If you suspect someone is being exploited, then you can use 0800 432 0804 to contact the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority.  They have published a checklist of signs which may indicate that a person is being exploited.

Recognition training

PCSO Bev Faull of the Devon and Cornwall Police is offering training to organisations on spotting the signs of modern slavery, and human trafficking, and what to do if it is suspected.  She can visit groups and businesses, and is happy to liaise to arrange the best time to speak with you.  Please contact her on or 07525 408028.


Workforce areas and countries of origin

Reported cases of slavery have increased 35% year on year, with the UK being one of the biggest destinations in Europe for trafficking of workers for labour exploitation. Debt bondage – where migrants often become indebted to recruitment agencies for travel or illegal work-finding fees – is common. Bogus self-employment contracts are also regularly used to disguise abuse, with intelligence suggesting this is a growing problem in sectors such as cleaning, construction and flower picking. Zero-hours contracts linked to abuses are highlighted in agriculture, construction, food packing and security services, despite many workers effectively being permanent staff. (From the Guardian)

The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority‘ was previously limited to working in the agriculture, food and shellfish sectors, but now its remit is expanding.  A new report highlights 17 sectors which are at risk, and will now come under scrutiny.  These are:

  • agriculture, including vegetables, fruit, flowers, animal production and poultry
  • nail bars
  • food service, catering and hotels
  • car washes
  • warehouse and distribution
  • food processing
  • manufacturing
  • recycling/waste disposal
  • cleaning
  • construction
  • food packaging

You can read the GLAA’s full report here.


Future worries

The Public Accounts Committee has investigated the Government’s Modern Slavery Strategy, and has found that there is no measure of success in place, to establish whether the strategy is working, and there is also no tracking on how much money is being spent to combat the problem.  There is also inconsistency between regional police forces, and no definitive figure of how many people are affected.

More victims are being reported to the National Referral Mechanism, which handles all suspected cases of modern slavery and human trafficing, but there is no record of what happens to the individuals after they have left the system.

You can read the article reporting on this in the Independent.


Other useful information

(with thanks to Ellie Moseley at Inclusion Cornwall, and Sergeant Julie Jamaa Ben M’Hand)

Modern slavery – GOV.UK
Link to government site to include lots of information, research and  links to promotional material

Direct links to selection of promotional material  :-

Help for adult victims of modern slavery – GOV.UK

Domestic slavery – GOV.UK

Modern slavery is closer than you think – GOV.UK

Modern slavery: how the UK is leading the fight – GOV.UK

Hiblio TV video with Jim Colwell