Modern Slavery

Modern slavery is a serious crime and a violation of fundamental human rights. Hull City Council are working to prevent this from happening in our city. This is by our partners. Our partners include Humberside Police and the wider Humber Modern Slavery Partnership.

Victims of Modern Slavery

There is no one profile to show 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 many 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
    • better quality of life
    • family connections

Often the victim enters into a modern slavery situation consensually. The exploitation develops over time. Or, it can start when the person reaches the destination country. Then they will be away from the support of family and friends.

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

  • creating dependency
  • deception
  • emotional control
  • exploiting cultural beliefs. Victims might believe they will bring dishonour to themselves and their families if they do not comply
  • financial control
  • grooming
  • isolation
  • abuse

Victims subjected to modern slavery may present in many 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  • withdrawn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 can involve adult and child victims who rarely come forward to seek help. This is due to many factors, including -

  • language barriers
  • threats
  • fear of the perpetrators
  • fear of being criminalised

There are several broad categories of exploitation linked to human trafficking. These 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
    • related benefit fraud
  • forced or sham marriage

The National Modern Slavery Strategy

The aim of the government’s human trafficking strategy is to 'tackle trafficking from end to end'. From recruitment to exploitation, the government wants to make sure that 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. This is through improved victim identification and enforcement support

National Referral Mechanism (NRM)

The NRM is a framework for identifying and referring potential victims of modern slavery. It is to make sure 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 about the person’s capacity, a best interest decision can be made to support referral. Child victims do not have to consent to be referred into the NRM. They must first be safeguarded and then referred into the NRM process.

Once submitted, the Single Competent Authority (SCA) will consider the case. They will make a declaration that either the person is or is not a 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) present on all first responders.

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

Report a modern day slavery concern (opens in new window)

The charity Unseen UK provides further information, support and guidance.