What is Modern Slavery?
Modern slavery is a growing problem globally and can take many forms, including the coercion, exploitation, deception and/or trafficking of people for labour, sex, criminality, organ removal, marriage and servitude.
Although slavery is illegal in every country, it still happens all over the world, including in North Hertfordshire. It can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender and ethnicity.
We are a signatory to the Charter Against Modern Slavery and this and the Transparency Statement below set out our committment to tackling modern slavery.
Reporting Modern Slavery or Exploitation
- In an emergency, call 999.
- In a non-emergency, call 101 (request the modern slavery unit)
If you have a suspicion or concern, but are unsure whether to act on it, call the 24/7 charity-run Modern Slavery Helpline anonymously on 08000 121 700 or report online. With access to interpreters in 200 languages, expert advisers can provide free and confidential advice and support.
Exploiters and traffickers are dangerous criminals, therefore it is vital that members of the public do not attempt to act on suspicions themselves, as they may put themselves or the victims at risk.
For more information on modern slavery and exploitation, visit www.stopexploitationherts.org.uk.
Spotting the signs of Modern Slavery
The signs of modern slavery and exploitation are often hidden, making it difficult to recognise potential victims.
However, the most common signs are:
- Restricted freedom of movement and/or isolation
- No identification documents and/or these documents being held by someone else
- Poor working and/or living conditions
- Unusual travel times to and from work and/or unidentified locations
- Fear and/or reluctance to seek help
- Lack of knowledge and/or dependency on others
- Poor physical appearance (signs of abuse, unexplained injuries and/or malnourishment)
- Few personal possessions and/or clothes
Signs specific to children could also include:
- An unknown adult caring for a child i.e. an absent parent or legal guardian
- Several unrelated children found at a single address
- Frequently moving or travelling to/from different locations
- Poor school attendance and withdrawal from activities, family, friends etc.
- Tiredness and/or aggression
- Travelling unaccompanied by an adult and/or in groups with persons who are not relatives
- Use of inappropriate and/or over-sexualised language
- Association with known or suspected gang members
Hertfordshire’s response to modern slavery
The Hertfordshire Modern Slavery Partnership brings together more than 60 agencies and charities from across the county to tackle modern slavery and human trafficking in all its forms. It is made up of representatives from Hertfordshire County Council, the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office for Hertfordshire, Shiva Foundation, Hertfordshire Constabulary, district and borough councils, clinical commissioning groups and NHS Trusts, charities, government agencies and more.
In December 2018, the Partnership was scrutinised by Hertfordshire County Council as part of a Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Topic Group. You can read the full report here.
The following resources have been developed by the Partnership for public use:
- A5 (2-sided) Information Leaflet to educate the general public on spotting the signs of exploitation/modern slavery and reporting concerns
- A5 (2-sided) Information Leaflet to educate taxi drivers on spotting the signs of exploitation/modern slavery and reporting concerns
- A5 (2-sided) Information Leaflets to educate professionals working with homeless people and homeless people on spotting the signs of exploitation/modern slavery and reporting concerns (translated into 6 languages)
- A4 (2-sided) Information Flyer for potential and identified victims to support identification of exploitation by professionals, charities, businesses and victims (translated into 11 languages)