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Slavery offences in the UK explained by our criminal solicitor
28 Nov 2022

Slavery in the UK criminal justice system is a hidden epidemic. Every year, an estimated 13,000 people are trafficked into the country and forced to work against their will in a range of industries, including agriculture, construction, domestic servitude and sex work. While the true scale of slavery in the UK is unknown, it is thought that there could be up to 136,000 slaves in Britain today.

And, as you can imagine, if you are found to be involved in slavery or human trafficking, this can have enormous consequences.

At ABV Solicitors, we work hard to defend those accused of modern slavery offences, and our criminal solicitor will aim to get to the bottom of every case we receive. Our defence team are highly trained in this emotive area to be impartial, so you will receive the best defence possible.

So, what are some of the modern slavery offences that our criminal solicitor can defend?

Forced labour

Forced labour is perhaps the most well-known form of slavery, and typically involves someone being made to work against their will in a factory, farm or construction site. If your business is involved or has been accused of being involved in this type of slavery, you need to contact our criminal solicitor.

Victims of forced labour are often lured to the UK with the promise of a better life, only to find themselves in a situation of extreme abuse and exploitation. They may be subjected to violence, threats, and intimidation, and their pay may be withheld or they may be made to live in cramped and degrading conditions.

Thankfully, the UK government has recognised the seriousness of forced labour and has taken steps to tackle it. In 2015, it passed the Modern Slavery Act, which introduced new offences related to trafficking and slavery, and strengthened protections for victims.

Domestic servitude

Domestic servitude is a form of slavery where victims are forced to work in someone’s home as a maid, cook, or gardener. They are often made to live in and work in very poor conditions and may be physically and/or emotionally abused by their employers.

Victims of domestic servitude in the UK are often from countries like India, Pakistan, Nigeria, and the Philippines. They are often promised good jobs and a better life in the UK, but when they arrive they find themselves trapped in a cycle of abuse and exploitation.

The punishment for those convicted of enslaving others in the UK is up to 5 years in prison.

Sexual exploitation

Sexual exploitation is when someone is forced or coerced into sexual activity for someone else’s gain. This can include being made to do things they don’t want to do, being threatened or abused, or being forced into prostitution.

This type of slavery is particularly harmful because it can have a long-lasting impact on the victim’s mental health. They may feel ashamed, guilty, or like they’re to blame for what happened. This can make it difficult for them to move on and rebuild their life.

Sadly, sexual exploitation is a very common form of slavery. It’s estimated that there are thousands of victims in the UK alone. Many of these victims are trafficked into the country from other parts of the world.

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