Modern Slavery


Modern slavery is a serious crime and a violation of fundamental human rights. Hull City Council are working closely with our partners, including Humberside Police and the wider Humber Modern Slavery Partnership to help prevent this occurring in our City.

Victims of Modern Slavery

There is no one profile to indicate someone is being subjected to modern slavery. People may put themselves at risk of modern slavery or human trafficking without realising this. They are often driven towards those who exploit them for a number of reasons, including -

  • push factors - poverty or abuse at home, orphaned, being in care, lack of jobs and opportunities, homelessness
  • pull factors: false promise of higher wages and better quality of life, family connections

In many cases the victim enters into a modern slavery situation consensually, as the exploitation will develop over time or when an individual reached the destination country, away from the support of family and friends.

Methods that perpetrators use to retain control over the victims include -

  • creating dependency
  • deception
  • emotional control
  • exploiting cultural beliefs so that victims believe they will bring dis-honour to themselves and their families if they do not comply
  • financial Control
  • grooming
  • isolation
  • abuse

 Those victims subjected to modern slavery may present in a number of ways, which could include -

  • behaviour – withdrawn, scared, not willing to talk
  • appearance – unkempt, malnourished, few possessions, health concerns
  • work – inappropriate clothing for the job, long hours, little or no pay
  • fear of authorities – doesn’t want to speak to police or authorities
  • debt bondage – in debt to, or dependent on someone else
  • accommodation – overcrowded, poorly maintained, little or no interaction with the community
  • lack of control – no ID, no access to bank account, work transport provided
  • lack of freedom – unable to move freely, unwilling or scared to leave

Modern slavery encompasses adult and child victims who rarely come forward to seek help due to many factors, including language barriers, threats, fear of the perpetrators, and fear of being criminalised. There are several broad categories of exploitation linked to human trafficking, which can include -

  • sexual exploitation
  • labour exploitation
  • child related crimes such as child sexual exploitation and child criminal exploitation
  • criminal exploitation – forced begging, illegal drug cultivation, organised theft, and related benefit fraud
  • forced or sham marriage

The National Modern Slavery Strategy

The overall aim of the Government’s human trafficking strategy is to “tackle trafficking from end to end”, from recruitment to exploitation, ensuring agencies have the right tools to allow them to do so. This is done through the "4P's" -

  • pursue - prosecute and disrupt individuals and groups responsible for modern slavery
  • prevent - prevent people from engaging in modern slavery
  • protect - strengthen safeguards against modern slavery by protecting vulnerable people from   exploitation
  • prepare -reduce the harm caused by modern slavery through improved victim identification and enforcement support

National Referral Mechanism (NRM)

The National Referral Mechanism (NRM) is a framework for identifying and referring potential victims of modern slavery and ensuring they receive the appropriate support. Consent is required for an adult to be referred to the NRM.

An adult has to provide their informed consent, if there are any concerns regarding the person’s capacity then a best interest decision can be made to support referral. Child victims do not have to consent to be referred into the NRM and must first be safeguarded and then referred into the NRM process.

Once submitted the Single Competent Authority (SCA) will consider the case and make a declaration either the person is or is not subject of Modern Slavery. Only designated first responders can make referrals. All Local authorities are first responders.

Where an adult does not consent to the NRM and modern slavery is suspected there is still a Duty to Notify (DtN) incumbent on all first responders.

If you suspect someone is being subjected to modern slavery please report your concerns using the form below -

Further information, support and guidance can be found in the following links -