Modern Slavery

Did you know there are tens of thousands of people being held as slaves across the UK?

Modern slaves can be hard to spot. Some signs are physical, but some are much less obvious. .

Lockdown measures are making it harder for victims of slavery to come forward. Now more than ever frontline workers and the public are encouraged to be vigilant in spotting signs of slavery happening around them and reporting suspicions to the authorities. Advice and support is available from the Modern Slavery Helpline – 08000 121 7000

Join the fight to combat modern slavery and speak up for those who are unable to do so themselves.

If you would like more information about Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking please contact the Community Safety Team –

What is Modern Slavery?

The term modern slavery encompasses human trafficking, slavery, domestic servitude and forced or compulsory labour and is defined within the Modern Slavery Act 2015 which categorises these acts as offences. These crimes include holding a person in a position of slavery, servitude forced or compulsory labour, or facilitating their travel with the intention of exploiting them soon after.  Although human trafficking often involves an international cross-border element, it is also possible to be a victim of human trafficking within a country; if a person is moved from one part of the country to another and to be a victim even if consent has been given to be moved.

There are several broad categories of exploitation linked to human trafficking, including:

The National Referral Mechanism (NRM)

The National Referral Mechanism (NRM) is a framework for signposting victims of human trafficking or modern slavery and ensuring they receive the appropriate protection and support. It is the method through which victims are referred/reported for support. Section 52 of the Act places a requirement on Local Authorities to identify potential victims of modern slavery and report identified cases to fulfil its ‘duty to notify’ requirements.

Anyone local authority employee is, which permission from the adult victim able to refer an into the NRM using an MS1 form. If a child is involved then a referral must still be made into the NRM, however this referral must be made by children’s social services / MASH. An employee not working within children’s services who identifies a child victim must therefore refer them via MASH so that a referral to the NRM can be made. Consent is not required for a child to be referred however it is best practice to keep them / the family updated.

Wolverhampton Approach

City wide coordinated delivery is currently driven by Wolverhampton Anti-Slavery Partnership (WASP), a multi-agency forum with representation across statutory, voluntary and faith sector. The WASP works to promote awareness of Modern Slavery, provide training to frontline services, strengthen reporting and data capture and improving support for victims once they have exited from NRM support.

Wolverhampton are also actively involved in the wider West Midlands working and are represented on the West Midlands Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Board.

Guidance and documentation

The Local Government Association (LGA) has developed the following guidance to assist local authorities to tackle modern slavery. A copy of which can be located by clicking here.

Additionally, the LGA have a dedicated web page with information and interactive videos which can be accessed via this link:

MS1 Form and guidance can be accessed here:

A useful awareness video called Horse Trading can be found here.

Local Authority employees can access training and awareness online learning on the learning hub. A training programme is currently in development which will be rolled out wider and made available to partner agencies, both statutory and non-statutory. Information will be made available once the training has been fully developed.