National Crime Agency’s modern slavery figures reflect Refuge’s experience


The National Crime Agency (NCA) published a report today, 26 March 2018, which has revealed that the number of potential victims of human trafficking and modern slavery reported to the authorities rose by more than a third in 2017.

Sandra Horley, CBE, chief executive of Refuge, says:

“The figures published today on modern slavery in the UK make for a disturbing read. But, sadly, they are a reflection of what Refuge staff see increasingly when supporting women and children escaping violence and abuse.

“In our experience, many of the women subjected to modern slavery present, initially, as victims of domestic violence and only begin to discuss their ordeals further when Refuge staff have gained their trust. Victims are often very vulnerable and traumatised. This is a multinational, billion-dollar industry that thrives on control and fear, and instils secrecy in its victims.

“Our expert staff report many cases of women in domestic servitude, in forced labour or exploited for sexual purposes. In addition to our refuges and community outreach workers, Refuge runs specialist modern slavery services to support Vietnamese, Middle Eastern and Eastern European women – in their languages – and we urge anyone at risk of modern slavery to contact us if they need help or support.”

Find out more about our human trafficking and modern slavery services here

To read the NCA’s report in full, visit their website