Modern slavery encompasses slavery, servitude and compulsory labour and human trafficking. In 2014 the Home Office (the Department) estimated that there were between 10,000 and 13,000 potential victims of modern slavery in the UK in 2013, and in 2013 it estimated that the overall social and economic cost to the UK of human trafficking for sexual exploitation alone was £890 million. The Department introduced the Modern Slavery Strategy in 2014 with the aim of significantly reducing the prevalence of modern slavery. This was followed by the Modern Slavery Act in 2015. While the Department is the policy lead for managing the UK’s response to modern slavery, a range of public sector organisations are involved in delivering the strategy, alongside businesses and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The Department funds and manages the process for identifying victims, known as the National Referral Mechanism. It also manages a contract for support services for potential victims of modern slavery in England and Wales, currently run by the Salvation Army.
Published: 2 May 2018