Spotting the signs of modern slavery

This week we were joined by Fabiola Bayavuge who is an anti-slavery community worker for AFRUCA, a Modern Slavery charity in Manchester. Fabiola was hugely knowledgeable about the vast range of modern slavery situations and the plethora of communities it affects. We heard some heartbreaking stories which really made us realise how important it is to be able to recognise the signs.

Modern slavery covers a wide range of activity from human trafficking, forced labour, forced marriage and debt bondage. The victims may be trapped serving a family, living in cramped conditions, forced to deliver drugs or be sexually exploited.

Who is vulnerable to modern slavery?

  • Women and girls
  • British teenagers
  • Immigrants
  • Anyone who is struggling for money
  • Anyone who is considered to be vulnerable

The list covers many more people since the COVID pandemic.

In your community

Modern slavery can happen in any community, no matter how affluent. If you notice any of these signs from a house in your area it could be cause for concern:

  • Curtains or blinds are always closed for months or years at a time
  • Seeing faces at windows that never smile or wave
  • A lot of people coming and going very early or very late at night
  • Many taxis or packages coming to the property
  • Large amounts of take away waste
  • Any other signs that indicate that many more people live at the property than would be expected

Taking action

If you notice any signs of modern slavery in your community you can contact any of these helplines:

  • Modern slavery helpline: 0800 0121 700
  • Crimestoppers: 0800 555 111
  • Police: 101
  • AFRUCA Manchester: 0161 205 9274
  • ICTG Service Support Line for child referral: 0800 0434 303
  • Illegal Money Lending team: 0300 555 2222

Photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash

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