Modern Slavery is closer than you think

Modern Slavery is closer than you think

It could be happening in North Somerset. It could be happening right in front of your eyes; you could be a victim of modern slavery or you may know someone who is a victim.

We are supporting Anti-Slavery Day (Wednesday 18th) which raises awareness of modern slavery.

What is modern slavery?

Modern slavery covers a wide range of abuse and exploitation which includes:

  • sexual exploitation
  • domestic servitude
  • labour exploitation
  • criminal exploitation
  • slavery
  • forced labour
  • organ trafficking

Victims of modern slavery can be any age, gender, nationality or ethnicity. Signs of slavery in the UK and elsewhere are often hidden, making it even harder to recognise victims around us.

What are the signs?

Physical appearance Victims may show signs of physical or psychological abuse, look malnourished, unkempt, or appear withdrawn.

Isolation Victims may rarely be allowed to travel on their own, seem under the control, influence of others, rarely interact or appear unfamiliar with their neighbourhood or where they work.

Poor living conditions Victims may be living in dirty, cramped or overcrowded accommodation, and/or living and working at the same address.

Few or no personal effects Victims may have no identification documents, have few possessions and always wear the same clothes day in day out. What clothes they do wear may not be suitable for their work.

Restricted freedom of movement Victims have little opportunity to move freely and may have had their travel documents retained, such as their passports.

Unusual travel times They may be dropped off / collected for work on a regular basis either very early or late at night.

Reluctant to seek help Victims may avoid eye contact, appear frightened or hesitant to talk to strangers and fear law enforcers for many reasons, such as not knowing who to trust or where to get help, fear of deportation, fear of violence to them or their family.

What can I do if I suspect slavery is happening near me?

If you suspect slavery is happening near you, call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 0121 700 or visit www.modernslavery.co.uk.

You can also call the police on 101 (999 in an emergency) or report to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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