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What is modern slavery?

There are an estimated 40.3 million slaves in the world and, according to the 2018 Global Slavery Index, an estimated 136,000 slaves in the UK. Nottingham is no exception, and police intelligence suggests modern slavery is prevalent in every local authority in Nottinghamshire.


Modern slavery pertains to the control or possession of a person by others who threaten, frighten, hurt or exploit them, forcing them to work without pay. Often they are tricked into their circumstance or, trapped using force. They are then traded or used as a commodity.

Anyone can become a victim of modern slavery and some factors may increase the risk of people being targeted. These include financial circumstances, age, disability, substance abuse, mental health issues, family situations and homelessness. It's a crime that can remain hidden because it targets the vulnerable and voiceless.

What you need to know

It’s likely that at some point we’ll come into contact with an enslaved person without even realising it. There are a few signs you can look out for – Slavery Free Notts have put together some guidance below.

Slavery Free Notts

Want to know more?

If you're interested in finding out more about modern slavery, there are plenty of books and resources available to you, many of which you can access through our libraries. View the reading list below.

Further reading