'Hidden in plain sight’ is a term that describes human trafficking really well. We look, yet often, we do not see. Many of us believe this problem does not exist near us, however modern slavery has been reported in most local authorities across the country. It is a global crime worth billions of pounds annually and we all have a duty to not only look but see what is really happening around us and act accordingly. 

How can you spot signs of human trafficking?

Personal Documents

  • Is the person in control of his/her own passport, travel documents and/or immigration documents?


  • Have they been threatened with harm to themselves or to their family?
  • Do they have bruises or other signs of physical abuse?


  • Does the person have little or no control over his/her own money?
  • Are they paid less than promised?
  • Do they receive little or no pay?


  • Does the individual defer to someone else to speak for him or her?
  • Is the person allowed to move without any restrictions?
  • Do they appear to have been coached on what to say?
  • Are they not allowed to socialise with neighbours, family or friends?
  • Are they doing a different job than expected?
  • Do they seem to have been deprived of food, water, sleep, medical care or satisfactory living conditions?

If you think something does not look right, then it probably is not and by reporting it you may be changing someone’s life.

Migrant Help

  • England 01304 203977 (out of hours 07766 668781)
  • Scotland 0141 8847900 (out of hours 0141 2128553)
  • Northern Ireland 028 90315744 (out of hours 02892 448449)

Police 101 (non-emergency), 999 (emergency)

Modern Slavery Helpline 08000 121 700