Modern Slavery

Forms of Modern Slavery

Forms of exploitation can range from forced prostitution and forced labour to forced marriage and forced organ removal.

Forced labour – any work or services which people are forced to do against their will under the threat of some form of punishment.

Debt bondage or bonded labour – the world’s most widespread form of slavery, when people borrow money they cannot repay and are required to work to pay off the debt, then losing control over the conditions of both their employment and the debt.

Human trafficking– involves transporting, recruiting or harbouring people for the purpose of exploitation, using violence, threats or coercion.

Descent-based slavery – where people are born into slavery because their ancestors were captured and enslaved; they remain in slavery by descent.

Child slavery – child slavery is often confused with child labour, but is much worse. Whilst child labour is harmful for children and hinders their education and development, child slavery occurs when a child’s labour is exploited for someone else’s gain. It can include child trafficking, child soldiers, child marriage and child domestic slavery.

Forced and early marriage – when someone is married against their will and cannot leave the marriage. Most child marriages can be considered slavery.

Many forms of slavery have more than one element listed above. For example, human trafficking often involves advance payment for travel and a job abroad, using money often borrowed from the traffickers. Then, the debt contributes to control of the victims. Once they arrive, victims are told they cannot leave until they pay off their debt.


New Modern Slavery Apps Launched

Safe Car Wash App

A Safe Car Wash app has been launched, supported by the Gangmasters’ and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA), National Crime Agency (NCA), National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) and the Local Government Association (LGA), to help identify modern slavery in hand car washes.

Hand car washes have been identified by the GLAA as a sector where there is a higher risk of modern slavery and labour exploitation.

The Safe Car Wash app provides the public with the tools to help them identify rogue operators and report their concerns. Information will be anonymised and shared with the GLAA and NCA. The app can be downloaded for free on to Apple and Android devices via the app store.

Unseen App 

On Monday 30 July, World Day Against Trafficking, Unseen, in partnership with BT, released the Unseen App to make reporting to their Modern Slavery Helpline even easier. The App provides a simple guide to recognising the signs of modern slavery and reporting concerns in confidence to free more victims of slavery. The app was developed for Unseen by the Helpline’s founding partner BT and can be found by searching ‘Unseen UK’ in app stores now.



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