Modern slavery terminology explained

  • October 06, 2022

There are various phrases surrounding modern slavery, but they're often confused and conflated. While they're all closely related, they are very different issues. 

Here's a brief round-up of each term:

Human trafficking - The unlawful act of transporting or coercing people in order to benefit from their work or service, typically in the form of forced labour or sexual exploitation. Not a crime against the state, but rather a crime against the person.

People smuggling - The action or practice of illegally transporting people from one country to another. A crime against the state for bringing people into a country illegally.

Modern slavery - Modern slavery is the illegal exploitation of people for personal or commercial gain. It covers a wide range of abuse and exploitation including sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, forced labour, criminal exploitation and organ harvesting.

Labour exploitation - Within the field of human trafficking and modern slavery prevention, labour exploitation refers to situations where people are coerced to work for little or no remuneration, often under threat of punishment.

If you believe you, or somebody you know, have fallen victim to modern slavery please click here to file a report through the Modern Slavery Helpline, or call the modern slavery helpline direct on 08000 121 700.

You can also call the police on 101, or for emergencies always call 999.

Your information could save lives.