Modern Day Slavery

The Home Office recently estimated that there are currently between 10,000 and 13,000 victims of modern slavery and/or human trafficking in the UK. These involve the movement of people through an abuse of power or vulnerability into a life of exploitation, servitude and inhumane treatment for the personal or commercial gain of others. 

In March 2015, the Modern Slavery Act was introduced, consolidating existing slavery and trafficking offences and establishing a number of new measures to tackle offenders and support victims. This includes civil restriction orders, a requirement on big businesses to audit and report on their supply chains, and a new statutory defence for victims who are compelled to commit crimes. It also extends the scope of the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) framework.

The  NRM exists to identify potential victims, ensure that they receive appropriate and effective support and make it easier for the agencies involved - including local authorities - to co-operate and share information. 

There are separate forms for children and adults, but referrals for adults can only be made with their signed consent and the Local Authority is responsible as a First Responder to complete referrals when consent has been obtained or has a duty to notify should consent be denied.

Indicators of trafficking and slavery are contained within the form and there is no minimum requirement for justifying a referral, so staff are encouraged to do so. All completed  NRM  forms are sent to the UK Human Trafficking Centre, which will assess and make a decision on whether an individual is a victim of human trafficking or modern slavery.

In October 2021, Cheshire East Council approved their Transparency Statement as part of its commitment to work collectively and collaboratively to prevent, identify, disrupt, stop and eradicate Modern Day Slavery in all its forms.

Please see below links to websites for further information:

Page last reviewed: 11 June 2024