The exploitation of human beings for profit takes many forms, including sexual exploitation, forced labour, child trafficking and domestic servitude. The fluidity of trafficking networks, which are quick to adapt to changing circumstances are a real challenge to the Police and partner agencies. Limited public understanding of the issue compounds the problem: people are slow to recognise instances of trafficking in their midst and reluctant to report these to the Police.
Slavery today is a global business and a source of huge profits for traffickers and crime syndicates. Support agencies, police and the wider community have identified thousands of victims of trafficking including men, women and children. Victims are trafficked from every corner of the world - in the last year alone, victims from 54 different countries have been identified - and are found in ordinary cities and towns across the UK. Traffickers also target the vulnerable within the UK, moving them from place to place and making money out of their exploitation. The UK has a duty to protect these victims, provide them with a safe haven, prosecute those who traffic them and seize traffickers’ assets.
The International Labour Organization estimates that 20.9 million people are victims of forced labour globally, of which 1.5 million are to be found in the developed economies and European Union only. This estimate includes victims of human trafficking for labour and sexual exploitation and, although it is not known how many of these victims were trafficked, the data implies that there could be millions of trafficked people across the world. They can be found in, among other places, restaurants, fisheries, brothels, farms and homes. Indeed, there are more people in slavery today than in the entire 350 year history of the transatlantic slave trade.
Human trafficking is nothing less than serious, international, organised crime. It is now thought to be the second most lucrative organised criminal activity worldwide generating an estimated $32 billion per annum.
Leaflets have been developed in a number of languages that give advice to foreign workers in the UK, please see the links below:
Trafficking Leaflet - English
Trafficking Leaflet - Czech
Trafficking Leaflet - Polish
Trafficking Leaflet - Romanian
Trafficking Leaflet - Slovak
Trafficking Leaflet - Spanish
Trafficking Leaflet - Vietnamese