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Modern Slavery

South Wales Police is committed to protecting vulnerable people and this includes those who have been the victim of, or have the potential to be a victim of, modern slavery.

Slavery in Wales is on the rise. In 2016, there were 123 referrals of potential victims of modern slavery.

What is modern slavery?

Slavery continues today in every country in the world. Women forced into prostitution. People forced to work in agriculture, domestic work and factories. Children in sweatshops producing goods sold globally. Entire families forced to work for nothing to pay off generational debts. Girls married off to older men.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that around 21 million people around the world are in slavery. This includes 5.5 million children.

Someone is in slavery if they are:

  • forced to work – through coercion, or mental or physical threat;
  • owned or controlled by an ’employer’, through mental or physical abuse or the threat of abuse;
  • dehumanised, treated as a commodity or bought and sold as ‘property’;
  • physically constrained or have restrictions placed on their freedom of movement.

To find out more about the signs of modern slavery please download our Modern Slavery leaflet

Raising awareness of modern slavery

A21, with the support of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, has recently launched a campaign to help raise awareness of modern slavery including human trafficking called ‘Can you see me?’.

The campaign highlights the prevalence of forced labour and sexual exploitation in the UK, bringing focus to car washes, nail bars and taxis.

The campaign team has developed three key scenario based films to help improve awareness and understanding:




Human Trafficking

The ‘Caught in Traffick’ film shown below was produced by the Merthyr Tydfil Borough Wide Youth Forum (MTBWYF) Cabinet in 2014 in partnership with MAGNET’s Up & Coming Young Reporters Project and Safer Merthyr Tydfil’s CREA8 Project, with the aim of highlighting the issue of internal/domestic human trafficking and child sexual exploitation.

Modern slavery helpline

The modern slavery helpline provides support and information on a 24/7 basis.

Through the Helpline:

  • Potential victims will have the chance to speak to fully trained call handlers who can help them access relevant services, including Government-funded support through the National Referral Mechanism
  • Statutory agencies can call to gain support in dealing with potential victims, and to receive guidance in accessing all the information and tools available through the associated Resource Centre
  • Businesses can call for information, advice and also to report any concerns they have about potential instances of modern slavery in their operations
  • Members of the public and those delivering services on the front-line can also report any modern slavery suspicions or concerns about individuals, premises or locations

Reporting modern slavery

Tackling Modern Slavery in South Wales

The Welsh Government employs an Anti-Slavery Co-ordinator and their role is to make Wales hostile to slavery and to co-ordinate the best possible support for survivors. The post has been in existence since April 2011.

Wales Anti-Slavery Leadership Group

The Group provides strategic leadership for tackling slavery in Wales and co-ordinates collaboration between devolved and non-devolved partners and third sector organisations.