There were 5145 potential victims of slavery referred to the National Referral Mechanism last year, a 35 per cent increase on 2016.

For the first time, British nationals made up the largest group of identified victims, followed by Albanian and Vietnamese nationals. The number of referred children rose by 66%.

The most common type of exploitation was labour exploitation, which also included criminal exploitation. It is followed by sexual exploitation and domestic servitude. There were three victims of organ harvesting identified last year.

With regards to gender, the indemnified victims are roughly equal, with 47 per cent female and 52 per cent male.

Modern slavery is a hidden crime which happens all around us. We hope that the large increase in the number of referred victims shows increased awareness of this abhorrent crime. Have a look at how you can spot the signs.

Migrant Help supports victims of slavery by providing safe accommodation, facilitating access to healthcare and counselling, re-connecting with family, integration into local communities or safe and supported return to their home countries. 

We are also one of the first responder agencies. Our advisers across all our services are trained to recognise the signs of human trafficking. We made 117 referrals into the National Referral Mechanism last year.  

Our aim is to empower our clients as they recover and to reduce the risk of re-trafficking. You can read some of our clients’ stories here.