62% Rise In Human Trafficking Victims Seeking Support

published on 13 Oct 2014

A new report today reveals dramatic growth in victims requiring support from The Salvation Army with the number of people recovering from labour exploitation overtaking those supported after sexual exploitation and also growing at a faster rate for the first time.

The report outlines key data gathered during the third year of The Salvation Army’s Government contract through which it manages the delivery of specialist support services to adult victims of human trafficking identified in England and Wales.

Key points from the report are outlined below. (See below for a more detailed overview and a full copy of the report available on request)

More than 1,800 people have been supported by The Salvation Army and its partners between July 2011 and June 2014.

  • 540 women and 347 men were supported for an average of 66 days
  • An increase of 62% on the number people supported in the 2nd year of the contract (550) and 135% increase on those supported in the first year (378)
  • Most people (42%) referred to The Salvation Army had been subjected to labour exploitation
  •  38% were subjected to sexual exploitation and 10% to domestic servitude
  • The highest number of female victims came from Albania (140) unlike in the previous two years when Nigeria  (91) was the country of origin for most female victims
  • Most male victims were from Eastern Europe (Hungary, 50); (Romania, 48); (Lithuania, 47)
  • There was another increase in the number of victims from the UK (29 as compared to 10 in year 2)

The fact that this year was the first when the number of victims of labour exploitation overtook those subjected to sexual exploitation can be linked to an increasing number of police operations undertaken to rescue potential victims. During the third year of the contract, The Salvation Army assisted the police with around 10 operations, in many instances deploying Salvation Army personnel on site to provide immediate support to potential victims and undertake initial assessments before transporting them to safe accommodation. 

Anne Read, The Salvation Army’s Anti-Trafficking Response Coordinator, whose team was present at many of these operations said:

“We are deeply saddened to encounter such a growth in the number of people coming to The Salvation Army and our partners for support. Each individual story represents the life of someone who has had their trust broken; their liberty denied and who, in most cases, have been subjected to appalling treatment at the hands of their traffickers.

However it is heartening to witness first hand the increase in the offensive from authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice and the positive impact of collaborative working relationships across sectors in raising awareness of this crime and in securing the best outcome for those we aim to help.”

The Salvation Army has managed the Adult Human Trafficking Victim Care and Coordination contract since July 2011, through which it is responsible for the oversight of delivery of specialist support services to adult victims of human trafficking identified in England and Wales. The contract, which is jointly funded by the Home Office and The Ministry of Justice, was initially awarded for a period of 2 years and has since been extended to 31st March 2015.

In addition The Salvation Army has established a Victim Care Fund through which it has been able to increase the level of support to survivors of human trafficking, particularly at the critical point when they move on from the service and to fund innovative schemes for improved support and additional bespoke training for staff.

Update on the third year of The Salvation Army’s Adult Human Trafficking Victim Care and Coordination contract - October 2014

Report Overview

This report provides an overview of what the service has delivered in its third year, including the number and profile of clients who engaged with the service.  

Data for Year 3 is recorded in bold font with Year 2 and Year 1 data, respectively, in brackets for comparison purposes.

A total of 1,817 clients have been supported by The Salvation Army and   partner organisations between July 2011 and June 2014 During the third year, 889 (550; 378) clients were supported for an average of 58.18 days in safe house accommodation or for over 87.49 days for those clients receiving outreach. This meant, on average, a client was supported for 65.98 days. 540 (348; 222) women; 347 (202; 156) men and 2 (0; 0) transgender. This represents an increase of 62% on the number of people supported in 2nd year of the Contract and an increase of 135% on the number supported in Year 1. 38% (43%; 42%) of those referred had been trafficked for sexual exploitation. 42% (40%; 44%) for labour exploitation. 10% (12.4%; 9.8%) for domestic servitude. The service supported clients from 74(63; 43) different countries.

   Unlike the first two years of the contract, the highest number of female clients who entered the service were Albanian 140 (68; 21), followed by Nigerian women at 91(76; 49).

   The highest number of male clients who entered the service in Year 3 were from Hungary 50 (6; 14) followed by Romania 48 (16; 19) and Lithuania 47 (47; 13). In Year 2 the highest number of male clients supported were Polish, when we supported 53 clients compared to 27 this year.  

29 (10; 14) UK citizens were supported in Year 3. Whilst the South East region of England, which includes London, is the most significant source with 24.3% of client referrals, 75% of the total number of referrals came from others parts of England and Wales. The Southern region and Yorkshire were the next highest sources at 21.6% and 16.3% respectively. Most clients supported by The Salvation Army 37.5% (29.8%; 32%) were referred by the police. This was also the case in years 1 and 2 of the contract. The majority of clients reported to have moved on from the service 24.65% (17.8%; 41.5%) returned to their country of origin and were supported to do so.

A breakdown of the summarised data is provided in the following pages of this report. Where comparative information is available for years 1 and 2 of the contract, this is also recorded.

When reviewing the data in this report, it should be noted that as the client base differs to that of the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) direct comparisons should not be made for the following reasons:

NRM data illustrates referrals into the NRM for the whole of the UK whilst The Salvation Army contract, and consequently data, is an illustration of the position for England and Wales only;

  NRM data includes referrals for children and adults. The Salvation Army data reflects adult clients only as The Salvation Army contract does not include support for children under age 18;

  Some adults referred into the NRM do not require support from The Salvation Army. This may be because they are receiving support from family, friends or another charity;

Finally, the reference period for NRM reporting differs to that for this report. The NRM report covers a calendar year, January to December, whilst The Salvation Army reporting year is aligned to the Victim Care and Coordination Contract year, July to June. 


Download the report here