40.3 million people are estimated to be trapped in some form of modern slavery in the world today.*

Modern slavery is an umbrella term for all forms of slavery, trafficking and exploitation.

At the core of this crime is deception. Survivors of modern slavery tell stories of being sold a better life. They are often vulnerable, coming from areas where there is little possibility of work. They are offered a job, a chance to make money and to build a new life for themselves. Those who offer these opportunities may even organise their travel to a different country, controlling every aspect of their trip.

The job they are offered turns out to be a lie and instead they are forced to work in difficult and degrading conditions, with little or no pay. The threat of violence, to themselves or their families, hangs over them and traps them in their situation. Even if their trafficker does not physically control them, a mistrust of authority may stop them from going to the police.

How to spot the signs of modern slavery

You can help to spot the signs of modern slavery. Report your suspicions and concerns to the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 (if you’re in the UK), or the police.

Three of our partner organisations – The Salvation ArmyStop the Traffik and The Clewer Initiative – have lists of signs to look out for on their websites. We have also collated helpful videos with the signs in on our videos page.


*According to a report by the UN’s International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Walk Free Foundation.