Modern Slavery encompasses slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude. Traffickers and slave masters use whatever means they have at their disposal to force individuals into a life of abuse and inhumane treatment.
Poverty, limited opportunities, lack of education, unstable social and political conditions, economic imbalances and war are the key driving forces that contribute to the trafficking of victims into, through and across the UK.
From 1 November 2015, specified public authorities have a duty to notify the Secretary of State of any individual encountered in England and Wales who they believe is a suspected victim of slavery or human trafficking.
It is estimated that there were 10,000-13,000 victims of modern slavery in the UK in 2013, but only 1,746 potential victims were referred to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) in the same period. In 2015, this figure rose to 3,266 potential victims.
This duty is intended to gather statistics and help build a more comprehensive picture of the nature and scale of modern slavery.