Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking – resources for practitioners

Modern slavery includes:

Traffickers and slave masters use whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment.

Slavery is not an issue confined to history or an issue that only exists in certain countries – it is something that is still happening today. It is a global problem and the UK is no exception. It is a growing issue, affecting men, women and children.

Modern slavery encompasses slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking. Traffickers and slave drivers coerce, deceive and force individuals against their will into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment.

The scale of modern slavery in the UK is significant. Modern slavery crimes are being committed across the country and there have been year on year increases in the number of victims identified. The Home Office has estimated that in 2013 there were between 10,000 and 13,000 potential victims of modern slavery in the UK.

The Modern Slavery Helpline provides information and advice about modern slavery, a 24 hour telephone reporting line, online reporting through the website, and can provide training to public sector organisations on modern slavery.

See also our child trafficking resource  and criminal exploitation resource.

Reporting modern slavery

There is a duty on public authorities to notify the Home Office where modern slavery is encountered – there are two routes to reporting:

This poster gives a simple explanation of the notification process.

National strategy 

The Home Office Modern Slavery collection brings together documents and promotional material related to the government’s work to end modern slavery and can be found on their website at

The Modern Day Slavery government strategy builds on and adapts the framework that has been successfully implemented in both our serious and organised crime and counter terrorism strategies – find this on the  Home Office website at (PDF) or  at

It has four components:

  1. Pursue: prosecuting and disrupting individuals and groups responsible for modern slavery.
  2. Prevent: preventing people from engaging in modern slavery.
  3. Protect: strengthening safeguards against modern slavery by protecting vulnerable people from exploitation and increasing awareness and resilience against this crime.
  4. Prepare: reducing the harm causes by modern slavery through improved victim identification and enhanced support and protection.

The Home Office has published new research to establish a better understanding of the scale of modern slavery in the UK – find out more on their website at

MSP policy

The multi-agency MSP Modern Slavery Strategy (republished) has been endorsed by the Partnership.

This strategy summarises the details of modern slavery and human trafficking and provides information on resources and our overall vision, governance and priorities. It is primarily aimed at organisations who are delivering services and supporting or commissioning those to deliver services, however awareness raising among citizens and communities is vital if we are to truly to raise awareness of these hidden harms.

The strategy is very much about taking action and the role we can all play in helping to raise the profile of these issues and taking action to identify when modern slavery and human trafficking is taking place. It is about appropriate referrals and support to individuals. The focus is on safeguarding and taking a strengths based approach with those caught up in this and prosecuting those who are perpetuating this activity.

Further local guidance in relation to children and modern slavery can be found in the GMSP procedures.

Awareness raising resources for practitioners

General awareness raising resources
We have uploaded a briefing, leaflet and poster produced by the Modern Slavery helpline which can be used to raise awareness:

We have also published a 7 minute briefing about modern slavery.

Home Office guide: raising awareness of modern slavery
This modern slavery awareness booklet provides an up-to-date, easy to read resource setting out some of the key facts about modern slavery. It may help inform staff as part of a wider awareness raising programme. Find the booklet on the website at

Topics covered include:

  • the definition of modern slavery and the prevalent types in the UK
  • spotting the signs of modern slavery
  • victims and barriers to reporting.

To supplement this, Home Office researchA typology of modern slavery offences in the UK’ has broken down the broad categories of modern slavery into 17 distinct types of offences identified in the UK. A more in-depth understanding of the different ways the offence manifests itself can be crucial for staff involved in developing tool-kits for front-line staff or the operational response for their organisation.

Find the research on the website at

Training resources for practitioners

Modern slavery training
This government resource is designed to share examples of training products available to public sector professionals and other individuals that might come across victims to help raise awareness, better spot the signs and increase confidence in reporting modern slavery when potential cases are encountered.

Increased awareness and reporting helps law enforcement to tackle the perpetrators of modern slavery as well as protecting victims.

The resource contains basic awareness raising materials. For many professionals more advanced or bespoke training will be appropriate and the materials here are not intended to be the extent of the training required by any sector.

If you have documents or material you would like to be included in this resource you can email the

Training for public sector professionals
Whilst many professionals will need training specific to their role (and more information by sector is below) there are some awareness raising materials that will provide a basic level of understanding for all professionals. Even staff that may only rarely be in situations where they might come across modern slavery can benefit from a basic understanding of what to look for.



  • The charity ECPAT UK, in conjunction with West Yorkshire Police and other partner agencies, has produced a 2 to 3 hour in depth e-learning package that covers both adult and child trafficking, and is suitable for any public sector organisation. The package can be accessed for a fee at
  • If you are an Independent Advocate for children and young people, or a Border Force Safeguarding and Modern Slavery Officer, you can access this training for free. Please contact to access this training free of charge.


  • Section 2 of the Home Office guide provides an overview of the main facts on modern slavery and how to spot the signs.
  • Posters and other promotional material, some in multiple languages aimed at victims or communities with a high prevalence of victims, are available in the modern slavery collection
  • the Modern Slavery Helpline website has resources for front-line professionals on its website at

Police and other law enforcement:

  • e-learning for police officers can be accessed through the ENCALT website.
  • the Independent Anti Slavery Commissioner (IASC) has produced a number of videos for emergency services staff on spotting the signs of modern slavery;

Local authorities

  • The Independent Anti Slavery Commissioner (IASC) has produced a video for all local authority staff on spotting the signs of modern slavery
  • South East England councils have produced a brief film aimed at stimulating the professional curiosity of public sector workers to spot and report signs of modern slavery in their everyday work
    • the film is supported by accompanying notes, offering guidance on how local authorities could use the film for staff training to raise awareness of slavery
    • the film can be viewed or download from the website
  • The Local Government Association (LGA) have published Modern slavery: a council guide which is available to download on their website at
    • as well as providing an overview of modern slavery and the forms it takes, the guidance offers a detailed methodology for councils to deploy in identifying and supporting victims of modern slavery.

The government’s approach is focused on ensuring all healthcare staff are able to identify individuals who may be victims of trafficking, and to respond in an appropriate manner. This includes understanding ways in which healthcare staff can provide support to those who may be victims.

  • NHS England have provided information on their website that focuses on the work around modern slavery
    • it sets out a range of ongoing activity including training, awareness raising and joint working with other organisations
    • the information can be found on their website at
  • e-learning for Healthcare (E-LfH) has produced a 30 minute e-learning package that is free to access for all healthcare professionals
  • the Royal College of Nursing has produced a pocket guide to help nurses and midwives identify victims of slavery and help victims find support.
  • the Independent Anti Slavery Commissioner (IASC) has produced a video for all health staff, and another for emergency services staff, on spotting the signs of modern slavery

Labour Exploitation: spot the signs

Government guidance for organisations on how to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in their business or supply chains can be found in the ‘Slavery and human trafficking in supply chains: guidance for businesses‘ published on their website at

Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires certain organisations to develop a slavery and human trafficking statement each year. The slavery and human trafficking statement should set out what steps organisations have taken to ensure modern slavery is not taking place in their business or supply chains.  This document provides guidance on:

  • who is required to publish a statement
  • how to write a slavery and human trafficking statement
  • how to approve and publish the statement.

The website also contains links to additional guidance to support addressing the modern slavery risks in business’ operations and supply chains:

  • Core Coalition Short Guides on Modern Slavery Reporting
  • Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code Guidance: Modern Slavery
  • Walk Free Foundation Tackling Modern Slavery in Supply Chains Guide
  • Respect International Resource Centre.

The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority document includes information on modern slavery, trafficking and forced labour:

  • you can also find information on what signs to look for such as behaviours, working conditions and victim appearance
  • it also gives guidance on practical ‘do’s & don’ts’ when working with potential victims.

Downloads available on this page:


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