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Welcome to High Court Enforcement Group LMS


Modern Day Slavery

Modern Slavery


The aspects of human trafficking and modern day slavery will be summarised in the following chapter by way of paragraph headings.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this chapter you will be able to:

  • Know what is meant by modern slavery
  • Know what is meant by human trafficking
  • list the different forms of exploitation relating to modern slavery
  • state the signs associated with a victim domestic servitude
  • describe properties that harvest cannabis
  • explain what is meant by bonded labour
  • describe the types of business which may use forced labour
  • describe the signs that a business may be using modern slavery victims.
  • Know what is meant by forced marriage
  • describe the range of abuse that victims of forced marriage may be subject to

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It is designed to combat modern slavery in the UK and consolidates previous offences relating to trafficking and slavery. The act extends to England and Wales. Modern slavery is a term used to encapsulate offences in the Modern Slavery Act 2015: slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour; and human trafficking.

Modern slavery is the illegal exploitation of people for personal or commercial gain. The UK government estimates there are over 13,000 victims of modern day slavery in Britain alone

Someone is in slavery if they are:

  • forced to work – through coercion, or mental or physical threat;
  • owned or 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.

The modern slavery Act targets offenders and

  • has a maximum penalty of life in prison
  • strengthens powers to recover criminal assets
  • introduces tools to restrict offenders activities

Human Trafficking

An offence of human trafficking requires that a person arranges or facilitates the travel of another person with a view to that person being exploited. The offence can be committed even where the victim consents to the travel. This reflects the fact that a victim may be deceived by the promise of a better life or job or may be a child who is influenced to travel by an adult. In addition, the exploitation of the potential victim does not need to have taken place for the offence to be committed. It means that the arranging or facilitating of the movement of the individual was with a view to exploiting them for sexual exploitation or non-sexual exploitation.

Human Trafficking is when someone is brought into a country (or moved around it) by people who hurt, threaten, frighten and force them to work or do other things they don’t want to do, 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
  • 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. Many people who fall victim of trafficking want to escape poverty, improve their lives, and support their families. Often they get an offer of a well-paid job abroad or in another region. Often they borrow money from their traffickers in advance to pay for arranging the job, travel and accommodation. When they arrive they find that the work they applied for does not exist, or the conditions are completely different. But it’s too late, their documents are often taken away and they are forced to work until their debt is paid off.

Smuggling or trafficking?

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. The trafficker is moving a person for exploitation. There is no need to cross an international border. Human trafficking occurs at a national level, or even within one community.

Domestic slavery

Domestic work is a sector which is particularly vulnerable to exploitation and domestic slavery because of the unique circumstances of working inside a private household combined with a lack of legal protection. Domestic workers perform a range of tasks in private homes including: cooking, cleaning, laundry, taking care of children and the elderly and running errands. Some domestic workers also live in their employers’ homes and are often considered ‘on call’ to undertake work for their employer 24 hours a day.

Signs that someone is in domestic servitude are;

they appear to work excessive hours 

they are only allowed out of the home to take children to school

they have inappropriate makeshift sleeping arrangements

their diet is poor and may consist of leftovers

they have poor or little interaction with the family they serve

they are supervised when leaving the home

they have no access to their legal documents

they lack self – esteem or seem anxious

their communications are restricted by a third party

there’s evidence that they are subject to abuse....................................................................................................