Modern slavery

Modern slavery takes various forms and affects people of all ages, gender and races. Examples include:

  • Human trafficking (child and/or adult)
  • Forced labour
  • Domestic servitude
  • Sexual exploitation, such as escort work, prostitution and pornography
  • Debt bondage - being forced to work to pay off debts that realistically will never be paid off.

What are the characteristics?

Someone is in slavery if they are:

  • Forced to work - through the threat of mental or physical abuse
  • Owned or controlled by an 'employer', usually through mental or physical abuse or the threat of abuse
  • Dehumanised, treated as a commodity or bought and sold as 'property'
  • Physically constrained or has restrictions placed on their freedom of movement
  • Lack of personal effects or identification documents.

What are the signs?

  • Signs of physical or emotional abuse
  • Appearing to be malnourished, unkempt or withdrawn
  • Isolation from the community, seeming under the control or influence of others
  • Living in dirty, cramped or overcrowded accommodation and/or living and working at the same address
  • Lack of personal effects or identification documents
  • Always wearing the same clothes
  • Avoidance of eye contact, appearing frightened or hesitant to talk to strangers
  • Fear of law enforcers.

Advice and support