Modern Slavery

 In 2015, the Modern Slavery Act became law. Read more about the Act by clicking here

Click on the link below, to view a video about Modern Slavery by the charity Unchosen. 

Unchosen is a national charity that uses film to fight Modern Slavery. The NGO was founded in 2008 and started from humble beginnings as a charity that wanted to use film screenings to tell people about the scourge of human trafficking in the UK and beyond. Today, Unchosen is a professional, dynamic organisation with a strong reputation; it is the film and resources department of the anti-slavery sector and beyond. 










Modern slavery involves the movement or recruitment of individuals using threats, deception or other means for the purpose of exploitation.

It is not an issue confined to history or an issue that only exists in certain countries. It is a global problem and it is happening right now.

There is no typical victim of slavery – they can be men, women and children of all ages but it is normally more prevalent amongst the most vulnerable, minority or socially excluded groups.

Victims found in the UK come from many different countries, including Romania, Albania, Nigeria, Vietnam and the UK itself.


Over recent years, the UK has seen an increase in children and adults trafficked into the country for the purposes of:

  • Labour exploitation
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Domestic servitude
  • Criminal activities

Labour exploitation

Victims are being compelled to work long hours, often in hard conditions, and to hand the majority of their wages to traffickers.

There are many signs to look out for, including the following:

Victims being compelled to work long hours

Excessive dependence on employers or third parties

Excessive working hours

Sub-standard living conditions

Wages being witheld or excessive wage reductions    

Restriction of movement and confinement, to the workplace or to a limited area


Modern slavery is often hidden in plain sight, but can present itself in places you visit freqently such as nail bars or car washes. Businesses like this may unknowingly be employing people who have been trafficked into the country. Some of the signs to look out for in these places are:

Nail bars

  • Do they only speak a lttle English (if any at all)?
  • Are they unusually quiet or untidy looking?
  • Does someone always talk and take payment for them?
  • Is there a lack of professional qualifications on display?
  • Could someone be living at the salon?

Car washes

  • Are workers dressed inappropriately for the job?
  • Does one person always take payment?
  • Is the car wash over staffed?
  • Do the workers seem uneasy and under pressure?
  • Is there a container or caravan on site where workers could be living? 








Click on the above picture to find out more about labour exploitation, by the charity Unchosen. 

Sexual exploitation

    Victims are being forced into non-consensual or abusive sexual acts.

    There are many signs to look out for, including the following:

    Physical injuries

    Evidence of physical abuse

    Visible emotional distress 

    Someone who is uncommunicative, tense and fails to make eye contact 

    Signs of sexual abuse, and/or sexually transmitted diseases







    Click on the above picture to find out more about sexual exploitation, by the charity Unchosen. 

    Domestic servitude

    Victims are being forced to work in private households, performing tasks such as childcare and housekeeping, over long hours for little pay.

    There are many signs to look out for, including the following:

    Poor living conditions - someone living in dirty, cramped or overcrowded accommodation, and/or living and working at the same address

    Few or no personal effects - victims may have no identification documents, have few personal possessions and always wear the same clothes. 

    What clothes they do wear may not be suitable for their work
    Reluctance to seek help - victims may avoid eye-contact, appear frightened or hesitant to talk to strangers and fear police








    Click on the above picture to find out more about Domestic servitude, by the charity Unchosen. 

    Criminal activities

    Victims are being forced to take part in criminal activities such as cannabis farming.

    There are many signs to look out for, including the following:

    Properties where the curtains or blinds are closed at a property all the time, a pungent smell is coming from the property, and there are visitors at unusual times day or night.










    Click on the above picture to find out more about criminal activities, by the charity Unchosen. 

    If you suspect slavery is happening to you or someone you know:

    • Report it to the police by calling 101, or 999 if it's an emergency


    • Call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 0121 700


    To lean more about the charity Unchosen, please click here

    If you need help, you can also find more details by clicking here.

    South Yorkshire Police does not endorse the views of any third party.