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Human trafficking means forcefully recruiting, transporting, moving, harbouring, or receiving people, using methods like force, fraud, coercion, or deception to exploit them. Trafficking often involves taking advantage of vulnerabilities and abusing power.  

It's a global issue where traffickers move people illegally across borders, treating people as commodities, regardless of their age, religion, class, sexual orientation, or disability. It is also a national and a local issue, trafficking happens within communities in the UK. Many are living and working in plain sight- in nails bars, as care or domestic workers, and in sexual exploitation, working long hours for little or no pay, often in debt bondage. 

Types of exploitation include sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, forced labour, forced marriage, forced crime, forced begging, and organ harvesting. All these forms involve exploiting individuals for the traffickers' benefit. Victims of modern day slavery are often physically constrained or have restrictions placed on their freedom of movement. They may be controlled, dehumanised and forced to work.


To fight against human trafficking and modern slavery, organisations must work together at local, national, and international levels. This includes enforcing and improving laws, supporting and protecting victims, and joining forces globally to dismantle trafficking networks. In 2015, the UK introduced the Modern Slavery Act, which formally recognised these crimes as distinct from other forms of exploitation for the first time and set out systems which would seek to protect vulnerable groups and provide holistic care to survivors.  As citizens, consumers, at home, and at work, we can be active in the fight against exploitation. Raising awareness and education is crucial in preventing human trafficking and helping those affected by it. 


Founded in 2011 by Sophie Hayes, a British woman trafficked into sexual exploitation overseas, Sophie Hayes Foundation’s work has always been centred around sustainable freedom. Sustainable freedom means freedom from exploitation, slavery, and trafficking; and freedom to look to the future with renewed confidence, rebuilt skills, and a sense of purpose for survivors. 


An estimated 50 MILLION people are in modern slavery across the world.

122,000 estimated to be in the UK.

1.8 people per thousand of the population

$150 BILLION  Organised global crime industry

99% of victims sexually exploited are women and girls.

Modern slavery and human trafficking resources:
Walk Free Global Slavery Index
United Nation Office On Drugs and Crime

If you need help or suspect someone is a potential victim of moderns slavery and human trafficking help is available
through the following resources.

24 Hour Confidential
Referral Helpline

0300 3038151 

Modern Slavery


08000 121 700

0800 555 111

Metropolitan Police Helpline:
0800 783 2589.

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