Workers on a construction site Men won a construction site

Facts and figures

Is modern slavery a big problem?

The simple answer is “yes”. 

Headline figures

40.3 million people are estimated to be trapped in some form of modern slavery in the world today

136,000 victims are estimated to be in the UK

6,993 potential victims were found in the UK in 2018. 

The details

The 6,933 potential victims found in the UK in 2018 were trafficked from 130 different countries. The top three source countries for victims found in the UK were: UK, Albania and Vietnam.

UK referrals increased by nearly 100% from 820 in 2017 to 1,625 in 2018. The numbers of children referred increased by 48%. These increases were driven by labour exploitation, which includes those exploited for criminal purposes by ‘County Lines’ drug gangs.

Of the victims referred, 2728 were female and 4261 were male; 3856 were adults and 3137 were minors. 

The most common categories of adult exploitation were 

  • Labour exploitation: 1993
  • Sexual exploitation: 1289
  • Domestic servitude: 419
  • Other: 155

Around 1,500 criminal investigations are currently live in the UK.

Statistics are taken from the Global Slavery Index and the National Crime Agency (UK).

Woman working in a fast food restaurant
50 Best Companies to work for Disability Confident Employer Living Wage Employer RENATE COATNET National Crime Agency Look up Member caritas Modern Slavery Partnership