Demand for modern slavery victim support continues to grow - 185% rise in victims since 2011

published on 14 Oct 2015

A new report today reveals continued dramatic growth in victims of modern slavery requiring support from The Salvation Army. The report outlines key data gathered during the fourth year of The Salvation Army’s Government contract through which it has managed the delivery of specialist support services to adult victims of modern slavery and human trafficking identified in England and Wales since July 2011.

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

Just under 3,000 people have been supported by The Salvation Army and its partners between July 2011 and June 2015. During the fourth year, 1,097 people (730 women, 366 men, 1 transgender) were supported which is close to the total number of people supported during the first three years of the contract. There has been an increase of 185% on those supported in the first year (378). Most people (43%) referred to The Salvation Army had been subjected to sexual exploitation. 36% were subjected to labour exploitation and 14% to domestic servitude. For the second year running the highest number of female victims came from Albania (230) and the second highest from Nigeria (120). Most male victims were from Eastern Europe (Poland, 81); (Romania, 47); (Slovakia, 44). There was another increase in the number of victims from the UK (36 as compared to 29 in year 3 and 10 in year 2).

In a year which saw the number of female victims of sexual exploitation from Albania increase from 140 to 230 the number of victims of sexual exploitation once more overtook those subjected to labour exploitation. 

Most referrals came once again from Home Office departments, primarily those departments dealing with asylum claims, the Police and Non-Governmental Agencies. The Salvation Army assisted the police with operations across England and Wales, 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 Director of Anti Trafficking and Modern Slavery said:

“In 2015 The Salvation Army’s commitment to fight the scourge of slavery and human trafficking is as strong today as it was 150 years ago when our work started in the East End of London. The fight continues in each of the 127 countries in which we work as the need and resources allow. We were privileged this year to be awarded the new Modern Slavery Victim Care and Coordination contract which means we can continue to work with our partner organisations to meet the needs of the ever growing number of people being referred to our service from England and Wales. We welcome the new measures and awareness generated when the Modern Slavery Act came into force in March 2015 but there is more to be done to increase the offence against the perpetrators of these crimes and to secure the safety and the best outcome for people currently trapped in slave-like conditions – unable to escape and forced to do things against their will.”

In addition to the Government contract The Salvation Army has established a Victim Care Fund, supported by charitable donations, through which it has been able to increase the level of support to survivors of modern slavery. It is highly valued by survivors, particularly at the critical point when they move on from the service or where no other funding is available and is also used to fund innovative schemes for improved support and additional bespoke training for staff. This year the Victim Care Fund has provided help in many forms including clothing, maternity and baby items, household equipment, therapeutic activities, transport and education and training.

Read our Anti-Human Trafficking Year 4 report here