It still happens here


This latest report from UK think tank the CSJ looks at how to tackle UK slavery in the 2020s.

Most people find it hard to believe that, nearly two hundred years after Britain formally abolished slavery, the terrible crime of holding another human being enslaved is still widespread here. That is because modern slavery is hidden from view, even though it is all around us. Across our country, large numbers of young women have been forced into sexual slavery. Thousands of young men struggling with debt are drawn into forced labour from which they cannot escape. Hundreds of children are growing up never experiencing the freedom the rest of us enjoy. If anyone still doubts the reality of modern slavery, they need to read the harrowing case studies set out in this compelling report – just a few examples of a continuing and unacceptable tragedy. If this situation was not bleak enough, the Covid-19 crisis is set to make matters worse, intensifying the poverty, lack of opportunities and distraction of society by other issues on which slavery thrives. In these pages we can see very clearly that there are still few prosecutions relative to the scale of the problem. We learn that the true number of people in twenty-first century slavery in the UK might be in excess of 100,000. No civilised country can allow this to continue, let alone deteriorate further.

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