Modern Slavery

Find out what Modern Slavery is, how it is tackled in Suffolk, and how to report any concerns.

In an emergency, or if you or someone else is in immediate danger, you should always call 999

Ukraine: anti-slavery safeguarding

Protecting Ukrainian refugees from the risk of trafficking and being exploited on their arrival in the UK is a priority for councils and something we are focusing on in our discussions with the Government. We are also engaging on Ukraine specific risks with partners in the anti-trafficking sector whom we work with regularly on wider modern slavery risks and practice. Councils may wish to draw on various workers’ rights materials developed by the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority; these include a checklist poster, know your rights poster and workers’ rights leaflet.

The anti-trafficking charity Hope for Justice have collated a suite of materials that will support organisations working with new arrivals from Ukraine. Councils may also find useful the resources signposted in our recent guidance on modern slavery and homelessness, as well as the resources on our modern slavery webpage.

What is Modern Slavery?

Modern Slavery is an umbrella term used when someone is coerced or forced to do something they don't want to do, and another person gains from this exploitation. Modern slavery includes slavery, servitude, human trafficking and forced labour. Victims of modern slavery are held against their will and are often unseen or unheard.

Victims of modern slavery can be of any age, gender, nationality, and ethnicity.

What is Human Trafficking?

Human Trafficking is a form of modern slavery, and is the movement of people by means such as force, fraud, coercion, abduction, or deception, with the aim of exploiting them.

For the purpose of exploitation, this includes:

  • Slavery (where ownership is exercised over a person)
  • Forced or compulsory labour (involves work or service extracted from any person under the threat of a penalty and for which the person has not offered themselves voluntarily)
  • Prostitution
  • Other sexual exploitation (forced to work in the sex industry. Child sexual exploitation is a type of sexual abuse)
  • Servitude (involves the obligation to provide services imposed by coercion)
  • Organ harvesting (removal of organs)

Victims of trafficking are traded for financial gain, either within their own countries or internationally. Trafficked people have little choice in what happens to them, and often suffer abuse due to violence and threats made against them of their families.

Human trafficking is a crime and British nationals as well as foreign nationals can be victims. It does not have to include crossing an international border or country border. Movement can be as little as from one street to another, or even just taking someone next door.

Types of exploitation that they may be forced into

  • Factories and farm work
  • Restaurants, in particular fast-food outlets
  • Domestic service and hospitality
  • Construction industry
  • Hand car washes
  • Nail bars
  • Prostitution
  • Drug running (County Lines)

How is Suffolk County Council tacking modern slavery?

Suffolk County Council recognises that it has a responsibility to take a robust approach to slavery and human trafficking. In December 2018, it passed a motion to say that it would do all it can to help stamp out modern slavery.

The council is committed to preventing the occurrence of modern slavery, human trafficking and other human rights abuses in its supply chains, procurement activity, and key corporate policies.

Suffolk County Council's Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement 2021-22 is made in accordance with s.54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

How do I report a concern?

Find out more