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Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking

Modern Slavery Webinar

To coincide with Anti Slavery Day 2021, Alister Bull – Training Lead for the charity Hope For Justice delivered a presentation on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking.

The aim of the session was to provide attendees with a basic understanding of Modern Slavery and its impact in North Yorkshire and the City of York.

The session covered the following areas:

  • National trends
  • What is Modern Slavery?
  • Spot the signs
  • Local case study
  • Signposting to national and local support

Following the presentation from Alister Bull, attendees were invited to ask questions.

Question and Answers

You may have a victim who has been groomed (under 18 years of age) and who is making informed decisions but under the legislation the victim is viewed as a minor. We have to be careful of the context of a criminal act. A criminal will want to take advantage of a victim at any opportunity and threaten their life.

If the person can walk away it is not slavery or trafficking.

See question 5 for more details.

The dark net limits how perpetrators may exploit people. There are various platforms for selling items which are often used as a disguise / cover for modern slavery, to hide detection.
Consumers are becoming more ethically aware. We need to remember that the victim of modern slavery is ‘hidden in plain sight’

Domestic servitude – person may be brought over to the UK by means of control as part of a violent and toxic relationship and the person doesn’t have freedom to move. Forced marriage is not arranged.
A persons’ freedom of movement is controlled and conditions are unacceptable regarding how they are being treated. There are often multiple factors impacting on modern slavery and human trafficking. It is important not to make cultural judgments about how people are living their lives.

Professor Gary Craig* gave the example of 30 – 40 migrant workers are in an establishment and are seen walking to a village shop to buy cigarettes. When in court, the judge of this case ruled that they were not in a modern slavery situation as they were able to move around and therefore the case collapsed.
The judiciary have a poor level of training and understanding. Psychological abuse and coercion do exist and the law has changed.

It was also noted that independent modern slavery advocates give advocacy support to victims of modern slavery.

*Professor Gary Craig manages the modern slavery research consortium which provides news, policy, legal, political changes, research findings, details of jobs etc. If you would like more information on this please email Gary directly at gary.craig@galtres8.co.uk

Trafficking is a crime against the individual. A person may have been brought in to the country by a ‘bunch of lies’ and the relationship becomes toxic when they arrive and realise they have been lied to.
Smuggling is a crime against the state.
Smuggling involves people, money, drugs, weapons and criminals are often involved in terrorist groups.
Smuggling is normally a one off contract between the smuggler and the person being smuggled: once the smuggling has been done, the person is free to walk away from the smuggler. A smuggler could of course change roles after smuggling and then coerce the person into being trafficked i.e. could become a trafficker too.


For our one minute guide to Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking, including information on the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) click here

If you would like to discuss training for your organisation, please contact  alister.bull@hopeforjustice.org  or training.uk@hopeforjustice.org

For links to the resources shared in the webinar above, please see below.

This link provides you with a library of further reading and information about Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking. https://hopeforjustice.org/resources-uk

For more information about Modern Slavery visit https://hopeforjustice.org/modern-slavery

To help you understand how to ‘spot the signs’ of Human Trafficking, Hope for Justice have put together some really helpful resources available on here on their website https://hopeforjustice.org/spot-the-signs

National Signposting: Crime Stoppers and Modern Slavery Hotline and 101.
·         Local information:
·         Children’s Safeguarding Board NYSCP (safeguardingchildren.co.uk)
·         For any NRM queries, please email NRM@northyorks.gov.uk
·         For concerns about a child please contact the Customer Contact Centre 01609 780780
·         North Yorkshire Adults Safeguarding Board information
·         https://safeguardingadults.co.uk/working-with-adults/one-minute-guides-omg/modern-slavery-human-trafficking-and-the-national-referral-mechanism-nrm/
This includes:
·         One Minute Guide – Modern Slavery Human Trafficking and the National Referral Mechanism.
·         Link to the Safeguarding Concern form (nb ideally with consent but consent is not always required)
·         Link to making a referral to the NRM (nb consent is required)
·         Information regarding Hope For Justice (nb if the adult is not consenting to an NRM referral and does not want statutory involvement, they may agree to a referral to Hope For Justice) all the resources on here are the latest posters provided by Alister (refreshed logo etc).
·         York Safeguarding Boards:  Home – Safeguarding Adults (safeguardingadultsyork.org.uk) Raise a concern – Safeguarding Adults (safeguardingadultsyork.org.uk)
·         Child Sexual Abuse & Exploitation (saferchildrenyork.org.uk)

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