Slavery at home

Think tank: Centre for Social Justice

Author(s): Louise Gleich

February 27, 2023

This report from UK think tank the Centre for Social Justice looks at a new bill to tackle slavery in Britain.

The new paper from our joint modern slavery unit ‘Slavery at Home: a new bill to tackle slavery in Britain’ recommends four ways to strengthen the modern slavery system. In 2015 the Modern Slavery Act marked a turning point in the fight against slavery and human trafficking and set the UK as a global leader in tackling this horrendous crime. Nearly eight years later, despite increased awareness and understanding, the organised crime networks behind modern slavery are continuing to act with impunity. Increasing numbers of potential victims are being identified and referred for support.12,727 possible victims were referred in 2021 nearly four times as many as the 3,264 referred in 2015. The number of British victims is rising (about 30%) many of them children. Yet more still go unidentified. In 2020, the CSJ with our partners Justice and Care, estimated there could be at least 100,000 victims in the UK. While the Modern Slavery Act set the foundation, now is the time for a new drive towards eradicating exploitation. The Government now has an opportunity to take swift and bold action, injecting new momentum into the fight against modern slavery and shift the balance of risk and reward so criminals can no longer profit from human misery.