Home Office figures suggest there are up to 13,000 people in the UK being held in modern-day slavery.
This month a new national campaign has been launched to not only raise awareness but also tackle the crime.
So, what are the signs of modern-day slavery?
- Physical appearance: Victims may show signs of physical or psychological abuse, look malnourished or unkempt, or appear withdrawn
- Isolation: Victims may rarely be allowed to travel on their own, seem under the control, influence of others, rarely interact or appear unfamiliar with their neighbourhood or where they work
- Poor living conditions: Victims may be living in dirty, cramped or overcrowded accommodation, and / or living and working at the same address
- Few or no personal effects: Victims may have no identification documents, have few personal possessions and always wear the same clothes day in day out. What clothes they do wear may not be suitable for their work
- Restricted freedom of movement: Victims have little opportunity to move freely and may have had their travel documents retained, e.g. passports
- Unusual travel times: They may be dropped off / collected for work on a regular basis either very early or late at night.
- Reluctant to seek help: Victims may avoid eye contact, appear frightened or hesitant to talk to strangers and fear law enforcers for many reasons, such as not knowing who to trust or where to get help, fear of deportation, fear of violence to them or their family.
- Dr Louise Waite from University of Leeds appeared on ITV Calendar to talk about modern-day slavery