Modern Day slavery hides behind closed doors. It is happening in our streets, towns and cities today; right here, right now.
Wilberforce ended the transatlantic slave trade, but not slavery. According to the Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP), produced by the US Government, there are 27 million people in Slavery around the world. That's more than in the entire history of transatlantic slavery.
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. Modern Slavery is an international crime, affecting an estimated 29.8 million slaves around the world. It is a global problem that transcends age, gender and ethnicities, including here in the UK and it's important that we bring this hidden crime into the open.
It can include victims that have been brought from overseas, and vulnerable people in the UK, being forced to illegally work against their will in many different sectors, including brothels, cannabis farms, nail bars and agriculture.
Real accounts from those have been rescued from Modern Slavery.
Poverty, limited opportunities at home, lack of education, unstable social and political conditions, economic imbalances and war are some of the key drivers that contribute to trafficking of victims.
Young people (under 18) are moved either internationally or domestically so they can be exploited.
Victims are forced to work to pay off debts that realistically they never will be able to. Low wages and increased debts mean not only that they cannot ever hope to pay off the loan, but the debt may be passed down to their children.
Victims are forced to work against their will, often working very long hours for little or no pay in dire conditions under verbal or physical threats of violence to them or their families. It can happen in many sectors of our economy, from mining to tarmacking, hospitality and food packaging.
Victims are forced to perform non-consensual or abusive sexual acts against their will, such as prostitution, escort work and pornography. Whilst women and children make up the majority of victims, men can also be affected. Adults are coerced often under the threat of force, or another penalty.
Often controlled and maltreated, victims are forced into crimes such as cannabis cultivation or pick pocketing against their will.
Victims are forced to carry out housework and domestic chores in private households with little or no pay, restricted movement, very limited or no free time and minimal privacy often sleeping where they work.