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Modern Slavery

Modern Slavery

40.3 million people are being exploited worldwide

(The Global Slavery Index)

Modern slavery is a term that includes any form of human trafficking, slavery, servitude or forced labour, as set out in the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

Human trafficking is defined as a process that is a combination of three basic components:

  1. Movement (including within the UK)
  2. Control, through harm/threat of harm or fraud
  3. For the purpose of exploitation

Potential victims of modern slavery in the UK that come to the attention of authorised ‘first responder’ organisations are referred to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM).

National Referral Mechanism Statistics

In 2019, 10,627 potential victims of modern slavery were referred to the NRM; a 52% increase from 2018.

Just over half of referrals were for individuals who claimed they were exploited as adults, whilst 43% were for individuals who claimed they were exploited as minors.

The most common type of exploitation for both adults and minors was labour exploitation.

Potential victims from the UK, Albania and Vietnam were the three most common nationalities to be referred in the NRM.

UK – Quarter 1 2020 (January to March)

In quarter 1 2020, 2,871 potential victims of modern slavery were referred to the NRM; a 14% decrease from the previous quarter, but a 33% increase from the same quarter in 2019.

Potential cases referred to Hampshire Constabulary increased to 195 in 2019 against 144 in 2018.

The top 5 countries of origin for adult victims in the UK (taken from the National Referral Mechanism Statistics- End of Year Summary 2019 (National Crime Agency):

  1. Albania
  2. China
  3. UK
  4. India
  5. Vietnam

The top 5 countries of origin for child victims in the UK (taken from the National Referral Mechanism Statistics- End of Year Summary 2019 (National Crime Agency):

  1. UK
  2. Vietnam
  3. Eritrea
  4. Albania
  5. Sudan
  • Archbishop Justin Welby committed himself publicly to the battle to end modern slavery – Find out what he said.

The Clewer Initiative


The Clewer Initiative is the Church of England’s response to Modern slavery.

The Diocese of Winchester joined the Clewer Initiative (CI) as a participating member in July 2020, at a time when it moved into a new phase. CI at the time was moving from a 3-year project into a funded 10-year programme. Therefore 2020-2030 will be a period of sustained awareness raising and action at local, national and international level. There will be opportunities for new partnerships and further opportunities to build upon the solid foundation that has already been achieved. This is good news as it enables existing resources around awareness raising and opportunities for victim/ survivor support to continue with further support and new resources from the national team.

Modern slavery touches all aspects of our lives, so whether it’s from a consumer perspective related to the supply chain of what we eat, the clothes we wear, and the materials that support our lifestyle, issues associated with climate change, partnering with established modern slavery victim support charities, or starting some awareness locally, there is plenty to engage with.

Modern slavery awareness training can be provided in different ways for parishes, deaneries, with other partner agencies and tailored to your particular needs. Get in touch below!

If you are looking for some basic training as a starter, try the online Safeguarding and Modern Slavery course from the Clewer Initiative. It can be accessed via the Church of England online portal:

We are a member of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Modern Slavery Partnership. The strategy to tackle Modern Slavery in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight has been developed in line with the Government’s Modern Slavery Strategy:

  1. Pursue – Prosecute and disrupt individuals and groups responsible for slavery
  2. Prevent – Prevent people from engaging in slavery
  3. Protect – Strengthen safeguards against slavery by protecting vulnerable people from exploitation and increasing awareness of and resilience against this crime
  4. Prepare – Reduce the harm caused by slavery through improved victim identification and support

Whilst the Diocese of Winchester is a relatively new CI partner, there are many individuals within the diocese who have already been working at parish level, and through partner organisations to raise awareness of modern slavery in our midst contributing to training, victim support, prayer and social action initiatives for many years.

Partnership is invaluable and will continue to be part of the success in making the Diocese of Winchester and the counties of Hampshire and Dorset a hostile place for exploiters and perpetrators of Modern Slavery and a place of support, compassion and rescue for victims of modern-day slavery.

Safeguarding is at the heart of all aspects of modern-day slavery awareness-raising and social action. Potential partners include:

Medaille Trust

Medaille Trust exists to provide refuge and freedom to victims of modern slavery – supporting them as they rebuild their lives. Today, it is the largest provider of supported safe house beds for victims of modern slavery in the UK.

Stop the Traffik

Stop the Traffik recognises that global collaboration is essential to building resilience to human trafficking and modern slavery. As such, they work with partners, associates, affiliates, groups and individuals in every corner of the world. They help with:

  • Intelligence-led Prevention
  • Resilience Building
  • Awareness Raising
  • Business Risk Analysis


Barnardo’s provides direct, specialist support to trafficked children. They help young victims cope with the practical and emotional traumas of being trafficked. The specialist support workers help them to understand what is happening with social care services, the police and immigration – in ways that they can understand.

Barnardo’s runs the specialist Independent Child Trafficking Guardianship Service (ICTGS) services in Wales/Cymru, East Midlands, West Midlands Combined Authorities, Croydon, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and Greater Manchester.


LOVE146 is an international human rights organisation working to end child trafficking through prevention education and survivor care. It offers:

  • Specialist Supported Accommodation
  • Specialist Supported Independent Accommodation
  • Wrap around support
  • Outreach Support

Stella Maris

Stella Maris, formerly known as Apostleship of the Sea, provide practical and pastoral care to all seafarers, regardless of nationality, belief or race.

Hagar International

Hagar International help women and children recover from the trauma of trafficking, slavery and abuse.

Santa Marta Group

The Santa Marta Group are a Catholic partnership established in 2014 by Pope Francis and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales to eliminate human trafficking.

600,000-800,000 people are trafficked across international borders each year

(UN Office on Drugs and Crime)

Useful Links

1 in 4 victims of modern slavery are children

(International Labour Organisation)