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Potential Child Victims Of Modern Slavery Have Seen An Increase Of 9%

Data Sources Have Been Taken From A Range Of Organisations To Help Explore The Issue


 Modern Slavery is an umbrella term for all forms of slavery, human trafficking, and exploitation. This crime is almost hidden due to the fear and shame victims feel or because they are unable to leave the situation in which reporting the number of victims is difficult.

There are no reliable statistics on the number of child victims in the United Kingdom; however, the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) currently provides the best measure. The data for the UK NRM for the year ending December 2021 shows an increase of 9% in the number of potential child victims referred compared to the previous year, and 91% of those victims were assessed as reasonably likely to be victims.

The data was released in March 2022, and it showed that almost four in five (79%) were boys and one in five (21%) were girls as well as more than four in five (82%) were aged between 15 and 17 years old. 

Figure 2 (Above) shows that boys were most likely to have experienced criminal exploitation (62%) and girls' sexual exploitation (42%). However, The percentages could not sum up to 100% as cases appeared where the exploitation type was “unknown or not specified” or “organ harvesting” was not included within the chart. 

Within the data provided, they have also shown the police recorded crime (PRC) data that demonstrates how modern slavery offences are being reported and recorded by the police. In the year ending March 2021, the police recorded modern slavery offences involving a child increased by 27% and have continued to rise in recent years.

The proportion of offences involving boys has increased over time, accounting for four-fifths of recorded offences. This might be due to a rise in "forced or compulsory labour" offences, which typically target boys. However, changes in police recording practices and the COVID-19 pandemic have likely affected the number of child victims identified in recent years. 

If you or someone you know is being or has been exploited, or if you are unsure if someone needs help, then assistance and advice are available: 

● For life-threatening emergencies, call 999, or for non-emergencies, call 101 for the police.

● The Modern Slavery and Exploitation Helpline can be called at +44 8000 121700 or contacted via an online form.

● The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) can be called at +44 8088 005000 or emailed at [email protected].

● Victim Support can be called at +44 8081 689111 or contacted via an online form.

Crimestoppers can be called at +44 8005 55111 or contacted via an online form.


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