Sense it. Spot it.

Forced Labour

Count the signs. If you see one or more of these signs at a property consider making a referral to the appropriate organisation. Alongside these specific signs can you identify any signs that suggest movement, recruitment, deception, coercion or exploitation?

What is forced labour?

In 2011 the most common forms of labour exploitation included being forced to work within tarmacking/paving, agriculture, restaurants, construction, factory work, food processing and leaflet delivery.

Labour exploitation is diverse and if you can think of an industry that has the potential to make money, there is an opportunity for exploitation.

  • Restaurants

  • Factories

  • Farms

  • Question it

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Do workers seem to have noticeably poor personal hygiene? They may not have access to appropriate washing facilities.


Are there children working in the restaurant? You may see modified facilities to help them work such as stools in preparation areas.


Are chefs preparing food that isn't indigenous to where they come from? A Bangladeshi preparing Chinese food for instance.

Preparation Areas

Are there suitable preparation and washing facilities for food?


Is access to the back rooms of the property restricted or are doors locked? This may be used as accommodation for workers.


Is the worker not wearing clothing appropriate for their job? Such as no hair net or wearing flip flops.


Is there a noticeable difference in cleanliness and condition between the front of house and the private or staff areas of the property?


Is there exposed wiring and plumbing where you wouldn't normally expect to see it and is poorly maintained or rusty?


Do you see any relabeled products? They say may have been produced in one place but now appear to be from somewhere else.


Do the owners seem evasive as if they are buying time so that exploited labourers can exit the property?


Is there a lack of suitable equipment to undertake the job at hand? Workers not wearing waterproofs at a carwash for example.


Do workers live in private rented accommodation that is overcrowded? They may not know the address of where they live.


Is there a large reliance on Eastern European agency workers by the gang master? The workers may vary from day to day, suggesting a large organised network.


Does somebody appear to be supervising low skilled workers? A minder or enforcer will often be present around trafficking victims.


Do any vehicles at the premises show signs of having been abroad to collect recruited workforce? Usually from across Europe.


Is safety equipment to protect workers not available to them? Steel toe capped boots or ear protectors for example.


Do workers live in overcrowded communal dormitories that are located on the farm's land?


Is there any evidence to suggest workers do not spend any significant amount of time in one place? Often they will be moved from farm to farm every couple of weeks.


Are the workers picked up in vans or minibuses at unusual hours of the day or night? Typically these are poorly maintained.

Right to work

Is the employer or manager unable to produce the required documents for employing migrant labour?

Pay Grade

Are people working out of their grade? In their home country they may be a manager with considerable responsibility, but might be washing up.

Wage Records

Is the employer or manager unable to provide records for wages paid to workers?

Pay Deductions

Is there any evidence that workers are required to pay for tools, food or accommodation via deductions from their pay?


Is an employer or somebody other than the worker holding their passport and legal documents?


Do workers get any days off or holiday time?

Reduced Wage

Do workers receive an excessive wage reduction, where they earn significantly below the minimum wage for their age?


Do workers have limited or even no accessto earnings or a labour contract?

Labour Laws

Is there any evidence to suggets that labour laws are being breached by the employer?

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If a child or adult is in immediate danger call 999.

  • Police

    Share what you have identified with your local police force.

  • Victim Support

    Support, advice and services available for potential adult trafficking cases.

  • Children's Services

    Advice and information on what to do and who to contact when a case involves a child.

  • Immigration Support

    Advice for cases where the potential victim may need immigration support.

  • The Police

    If the person's life is in immediate danger then you should call the police straight away.

    Phone: 999


    Local Police

    If the potential victim is in a situation that needs intervention then you should call your local police.

    Calls to 101 are a fixed rate of 15p per call, you will be redirected to the relevant place.

    Phone: 101

    Metropolitan Police

    The metropolitan police have a 24hour helpline for Victims and those who suspect trafficked victims are living in their community.

    Phone: 0800 783 25 89



    Call Crimestoppers if you would like to make an anonymous report of any information you have surrounding human trafficking.

    Phone: 0800 555 111


    Salvation Army

    The Salvation Army is responsible for delivering the UK government's contract to manage support services for adult female and male victims of Human Trafficking. Their confidential referral helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    Phone: 0300 303 81 51



    Migrant Help

    Migrant Help is responsible for support services for adult female and male victims of Human Trafficking. For cases in Scotland and NI they are a primary contact. Available 24 hours a day. They are a first responder for the NRM.

    Phone: 01304 203 977 or 07766 668 781




    The Scottish Government provides funding to TARA (the Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance) to provide support to women, over 18 yrs, trafficked (or potentially trafficked) for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation, recovered across Scotland.

    Phone: 0141 276 77 24

    POPPY Project

    The Poppy Project provides support, advocacy and accommodation to trafficked women. They are a first responder for the NRM.

    Phone: 020 7735 2062 (ask for the POPPY Project duty worker)




    Provide advice, advocacy and support services in the UK for migrant domestic workers. They are a first responder for the NRM.

    Phone: 0207 243 2942



    Medaille Trust

    Help women, young men and children who have been freed from human-trafficking. They provide safe housing and offer opportunities for physical and psychological healing and rehabilitation. They are a first responder for the NRM.



    Unseen UK

    Unseen runs secure accommodation for women of 18 years and over who are classified as survivors/victims of human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation and domestic servitude. They are a first responder for the NRM.




    NSPCC National Child Trafficking Advice Centre (CTAC) provides information and advice to any professional working with children or young people who may have been trafficked into the UK. Available Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 4.30pm. They are a first responder for the NRM.

    Phone: 0808 800 5000



    Children's Services

    Your Local Authority's Children's Services are responsible for all cases that involve children.

    Your Local Authority has a general duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children in need in your area, regardless of their immigration status. They have responsibilities for unaccompanied children, as well as those who arrive in the UK with their parents and about whose safety and welfare there are concerns.

    If you feel your local Children's Services would benefit from advice on how to respond to child trafficking cases recommend they contact NSPCC CTAC or ECPAT.




    End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT) research, campaign and lobby government to prevent child exploitation and protect children in tourism and child victims of trafficking. They provide training on safeguarding children from trafficking.

    Read this page on their website which provides guidance for professionals working with children who may have been trafficked.


    Phone: 0207 233 9887



    Anti Trafficking Legal Project

    ATLeP is a network of solicitors, barristers and specialist practitioners who advise, represent and support victims of trafficking and other vulnerable people.



    AIRE Centre

    The AIRE Centre promotes awareness of European law rights and assist marginalised individuals and those in vulnerable circumstances to assert those rights.

    Phone: 0207 831 4276



    Migrant's Rights Network

    Organisation working and campaigning in support of migrants in the UK.

    Phone: 0207 336 9412