Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking
Modern slavery sadly exists in Bedfordshire,
and in many forms including forced labour, sexual exploitation,
domestic servitude and street crime.
Someone whose travel has been arranged or facilitated with a view
to them being exploited when they arrive at their destination is a
victim of human trafficking – and anyone who perpetrates or aids in
this practice is also guilty of modern slavery offences.
Types of slavery include:
Young people (under 18) who
are moved either internationally or domestically so they can be
- Forced labour – debt
Victims are forced to work to
pay off debts that realistically they never will be able to. Low
wages and increased debts mean not only that they cannot ever hope
to pay off the loan, but the debt may be passed down to their
Victims are forced to work
against their will, often working very long hours for little or no
pay in dire conditions under verbal or physical threats of violence
to them or their families.
It can happen in many sectors
of the economy, from car washes and nail bars, to tarmacking,
hospitality and food packaging.
Victims are coerced to
perform non-consensual or abusive sexual acts against their will,
such as prostitution, escort work and pornography. Whilst women and
children make up the majority of victims, men can also be
Often controlled and
maltreated, victims are forced into crimes such as cannabis
cultivation or pick pocketing against their will. They might also
have their benefits taken over by their exploiter.
Victims are forced to carry out
housework and domestic chores in private households with little or
no pay, restricted movement, very limited or no free time and
minimal privacy often sleeping where they work. They might be
presented as members of their exploiters’ extended family to
deflect suspicions of neighbours and the authorities.
If you suspect modern slavery is happening around you,
whether it is where you live, work or socialise, please report it
to us by calling 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555
You can also contact the Modern Slavery
Helpline on 08000 121 700.