Supporting survivors

The Salvation Army provides specialist support for all survivors of modern slavery in England and Wales. Our confidential Referral Helpline 0800 808 3733 is available 24/7.

Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking in the UK

Centuries after slavery was officially abolished, thousands of people are still being exploited and sold as slaves across the UK. They can be forced to work in the sex trade, used as domestic slaves, exploited for labour or criminal activity, or have their organs removed to be sold. 

Those trafficked into the UK often are often unable to speak English, have their travel and identity documents removed, and are told that if they try to attempt an escape, they or their families will be harmed.

How we help

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The Salvation Army provides specialist support to protect and care for all adult survivors of modern slavery in England and Wales through a government contract which was first awarded in 2011. A new and extended contract came into force in January 2021 through which survivors of modern slavery are now entitled to support at all stages of their recovery.

Our confidential Referral Helpline 0800 808 3733 is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to anyone who suspects that they, or someone they have come across, might be a victim of modern slavery in need of help.

Everyone we support receives access to a wide range of specialist services to meet their individual needs whether that is within a safehouse or through outreach support. This can include access to:

  • confidential legal advice;
  • health care;
  • counselling; and
  • educational opportunities
  • financial support 
  • support in obtaining employment and housing

Successfully managing the delivery of support is never static and it requires The Salvation Army to monitor and anticipate trends and work with our subcontractors to ensure we are flexible and responsive to the continuing growth in referrals. It is also underpinned by a continuous search for ways to improve outcomes for the people in our care.

In addition to the government contract, The Salvation Army also operates:

How you can help

  • Spot the signs of modern slavery and potential victims
  • Contact our confidential referral helpline 0800 808 3733, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, if you suspect that you or someone you come across is a potential victim of modern slavery in need of help
  • Support our latest campaigns

How are victims identified and referred?

The National Referral Mechanism (NRM) is the process by which an individual is identified as a victim of modern slavery. Referrals to the NRM can only be made by authorised agencies known as First Responders.  Authorised agencies in the UK are the police force, the UK Border Force, Home Office Immigration and Visas, social services and certain Non-Governmental Organisations including The Salvation Army, through its Volunteer First Responder Service which operates outside of the Modern Slavery Victim Care Contract.

The Government’s NRM team have a set target of five working days from receipt of a referral to decide whether there are reasonable grounds to believe a person is a potential victim of modern slavery. 

If it is decided that they are a potential victim then they will be offered specialist support for a minimum period of 45 days. Support may also include safe accommodation, if needed, and the period of support can be extended if the potential victim needs this kind of support for a longer period or if making the decision takes longer. During this time further information is gathered relating to the referral from the First Responder and other agencies. The NRM team will then decide whether the person is indeed a victim of modern slavery. 

Find out how we helped Olive into a life of freedom


Spot the signs

Learn the tell-tale signs of modern slavery, and where to get help for victims.

Survivors Support Fund

Providing additional support to survivors and help for an independent life

Global response

Find out more about our work to stop human trafficking at the source globally

New victim care contract

We are continuing to work alongside valued partners to support adult survivors of modern slavery through a new and extended Government contract.