Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking encompasses a wide range of abuses including; slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour and trafficking for the purpose of slavery, servitude, sexual, labour or criminal exploitation or domestic servitude. These exploitations are typically for financial benefit though this not always the principle motivation.
The Modern Slavery Act 2015 consolidated several pieces of legislation relating to slavery and trafficking offences into two main offences below and raised the maximum sentence to life imprisonment. The Modern Slavery Act can be accessed from this link and includes explanatory notes.
- Section 1 - Slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour. This includes any work or service which is extracted from a victim under threat, menace or deception; and for which the victim would not offer themselves voluntarily.
- Section 2 - Human trafficking. This involves the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of victims for the purposes of exploitation; within a single country or across borders; and either with or without the victim’s consent.
- Slavery: The status or condition of a victim over whom rights of ownership are exercised by their exploiter.
- Servitude: Linked to slavery but includes an obligation to provide services to the exploiter and to live on the exploiter’s property.
- Forced or compulsory labour: All work or service (whether lawful or unlawful) which is exacted from a victim under threat or menace and for which the victim does not offer themselves voluntarily.
- Trafficking: The arrangement or facilitation of travel, transport or accommodation of another person for the purposes of exploitation.
Victims of modern slavery or human trafficking can be any age, gender, nationality and ethnicity. They are often vulnerable people who are tricked, coerced or threatened into involvement with a work, or potentially criminal activity. They are then not able to leave or report their exploitative situation due to fear, control or physical intimidation. It is possible that people may not recognise themselves as victims of modern slavery even though they could be being unlawfully exploited.
Additional information can be found in the Web links on the right of this page.
Human smuggling is an organised immigration crime (OIC) that takes place only across borders, in contrast to human trafficking that can take place both domestically and internationally. OIC consists of assisting migrants to enter or stay in a country illegally, for a financial or material gain. Smugglers make a profitable business out of migrants' need and/or desire to enter a country and the lack of legal documents to do so. Since migrants give their consent to being smuggled, they are not considered victims in absolute terms. OIC offences are principally under the Immigration Act 1971 and the migrants are not entitled to support under the NRM per see.