Modern-day slavery is the illegal exploitation of people for personal or commercial gain. There is a wide range of abuse that occurs, including sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, forced labour, criminal exploitation and much more. It also includes the manipulation of the workforce against UK legislation. People of all ages, genders, nationalities, and ethnicities can become victims of modern slavery and can not even realise it is happening to them in the beginning. It can be a trick or a threat and leave the person feeling unable to leave or report their abuser.
Modern slavery is not just in third world countries but could be happening in your own community. A person in an appearing stable job could be experiencing abuse and malpractice, modern slavery does not have to be life-threatening or debilitating to be a crime, as it still abuses the person's rights. The signs are not always obvious, but you may notice the following:
There are different types of slavery, which is one of the main reasons people do not see modern slavery happening, as it is assumed that it would involve extreme crimes.
Human Trafficking – people of all ages, ethnicities, genders, and nationalities can become victims of human trafficking, where they are traded and can be exploited by others for commercial gain. The tasks in which these people are made to do could vary from sexual slavery to forced labour and much more.
Forced Labour – Workers are made to do very long hours for little or no pay, these could be in bad conditions or under verbal or physical threats to them or their families.
Sexual exploitation – victims are forced to perform non-consensual or abusive sexual acts. This includes prostitution, escorting and pornography. This is mostly filled by women and children but can also affect men.
Criminal Exploitations – Victims are forced into crimes such as cannabis production or theft against their will, their benefits may also be taken by their exploiter who will control and maltreat them.
Whilst all these illegal acts can seem extreme, criminals are good at hiding their crimes and making situations appear normal. They may also treat their victims well to gain trust and hide signs of mistreatment.