General Facts and Figures

It is our aim for the services we provide to assist survivors to become empowered, independent and resilient individuals. Numbers can misrepresent issues or be incredibly overwhelming, but they are important. Below you will find a fact sheet that gives an overview of the current facts and figures for slavery and trafficking globally and in the UK:

1. In 2016, at any given time, an estimated 40.3 million people worldwide were in modern slavery, including 24.9 million in forced labour and 15.4 million people in forced marriage.

2. This equates to 5.4 victims of modern slavery for every 1,000 people in the world.

3. 1 in 4 victims of modern slavery are children.

4. Of the 24.9 million victims of forced labour, 16 million people are exploited in the private sector including domestic work, construction or agriculture. 4.8 million people are victims of forced sexual exploitation, and 4 million people were in forced labour imposed by state authorities.

5. Women and girls account for 99% of victims in the commercial sex industry, and 58% of other sectors in other sectors of forced labour.

6. There is no typical victim of slavery. Victims are men, women and children of all ages, ethnicities and nationalities and cut across the population. However, it’s normally more prevalent among the most vulnerable or within minority or socially excluded groups. In 2017, the UK Modern Slavery Helpline indicated that 2,288 potential victims of modern slavery cases were men, while 1,547 were women. Child victims are victims of child abuse and should therefore be treated as such using existing child protection procedures and statutory protocols.

7. Poverty, limited opportunities at home, lack of education, unstable social and political conditions, economic imbalances and war are some of the key drivers that contribute to someone’s vulnerability in becoming a victim of modern slavery. What’s more, victims can often face more than one type of abuse and slavery, for example, being sold on to another trafficker and then forced into another form of exploitation.

8. Potential victims of human trafficking were reported from 116 different nationalities in 2017 according to the National Crime Agency's National Referral Mechanism statistics. Albanian, UK and Vietnamese nationals were the most commonly reported potential victims. 5,145 potential victims were submitted to the National Referral Mechanism in 2017, which was a 35% increase on 2016.

For further facts and figures you can use these links:

National Referral Mechanism Statistics
Trafficking in Persons Report
United Nations Global Report

International Labour Organization