Modern Slavery

Forms of Modern Slavery

Modern slavery describes illegal behaviours from forced prostitution, forced labour to forced marriage and forced organ removal.

Forced labour – any work which people are forced to do against their will under the threat of punishment.

Debt bondage or bonded labour is the world’s most widespread form of slavery. It is when people borrow money they can't repay and are forced to work to pay off the debt. 

Human trafficking is transporting, recruiting or keeping people against their will for exploitation, using violence, threats or coercion.

Descent-based slavery – where people are born into slavery because their ancestors were captured and enslaved; they remain in slavery by descent.

Child slavery is when a child’s labour is exploited for someone else’s gain. It can include child trafficking, child soldiers, child marriage and child domestic slavery.

Forced and early marriage – when someone is married against their will and cannot leave the marriage. Most child marriages can be considered slavery.


The Human Trafficking Foundation has produced several resources to help local authorities improve their response to human trafficking and modern slavery, and support offered to adult survivors.


Modern Slavery Apps 

Safe Car Wash App

The Safe Car Wash app helps people to identify rogue operators and report their concerns.

Backed by the Gangmasters’ and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA), National Crime Agency (NCA), National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) and the Local Government Association (LGA), it helps to identify signs of modern slavery in hand car washes.


Unseen App 

The Unseen App shows how to recognise the signs of modern slavery and report it.