Please remember that you don’t have to be sure of something being modern slavery or human trafficking in order to report it. If something seems suspicious it’s worth reporting it.
Programme Challenger and STOP THE TRAFFIK have identified forced criminality as a form of modern slavery in Greater Manchester.
Criminal networks and gangs coerce their victims to:
A common system is ‘County Lines’, where gangs and organised networks force victims to travel from urban areas to different locations to deliver drugs.
This is particularly prevalent in Greater Manchester and the victims are not always moved outside the area boundaries.
Whilst anyone can be at risk of modern slavery, victims of ‘County Lines’ are frequently children and young adults.
They are left for days in unfamiliar surroundings until they have sold all the drugs.
Victims are recruited and controlled through:
These young people could be missing from school, home or care. It is key to work with schools, youth centres, housing and drug services to raise awareness, identify those at risk of exploitation and communicate where to find help and support.
Exploitation can also take the form of ‘Cuckooing’. This involves perpetrators taking over victims’ homes to store drugs and firearms and run criminal activities.
The ‘Trapped’ campaign was developed by Programme Challenger and it aims to raise awareness of all forms of criminal exploitation, in recognition that young people and vulnerable adults may feel ‘Trapped’ and need support to ‘find a way out’.
The following short film was developed with local communities and actors to highlight how people can be exploited: