FAQs /

Frequently Asked Questions

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Are calls to the MS Helpline confidential?
Yes. All calls to the modern slavery helpline are confidential. If a caller does not want to provide their personal details, they do not have to and we will respect their wishes. The exceptions are where there is a threat to life or a minor is involved and at risk of harm. We have a number of protocols setting out how we deal with such instances.
What is the directory of services?
The directory of services is a comprehensive list of organisations and agencies that we routinely engage with to help and support victims of modern slavery. The directory consists of police and local authority contacts, wider services such as immigration advice and NGOs. We are encouraging all NGOs to be included in the directory of services to ensure that we have the widest coverage possible to support and help victims regardless of where they are in the UK. NGO partners are asked to complete a directory of services application form setting out the range of services they offer and to whom.
Why is the Government not funding the helpline?
The Government is committed to doing what is best for victims, in pursuit of its commitment to end modern slavery. The partnership between Google and Polaris to establish an enhanced helpline in the UK offers an opportunity to deliver a significantly enhanced, world-leading service to victims, the public and law enforcement.
Who operates the helpline?
Award winning charity Unseen operates the helpline, with technical assistance from Polaris and start-up funding from Google.org. Unseen is a modern slavery charity directly supporting victims in the South West of England. Unseen also helps to equip stakeholders with the skills and tools to identify and support modern slavery victims as well as influencing and contributing to government policy.
Do you have any materials you can share with other organisations to promote the helpline?
Yes. We have posters, leaflets, desk cards, key rings and window stickers highlighting the helpline number and how the helpline can support potential victims, statutory agencies, the public and businesses. We also have partner materials which promote the helpline, including posters and videos.
Does the Helpline track outcomes of slavery cases? How?
The helpline does not track final outcomes of slavery cases. However, we will follow up with the referral agency to ensure that, where a referral is made to an organisation or agency the referral agency has successfully received the referral and has engaged with the individual concerned. The helpline is concerned to ensure that the caller is receiving the services they require and will continue to engage with the referral agency and the caller to ensure that this is the case. The helpline will look for alternative services, as appropriate, where the original referral agency is unable to assist the caller.
Will the Helpline notify the authorities if they learn of an individual working in the UK without an appropriate visa?
The helpline will never pass on any personal information to the immigration authorities. The role of the helpline is to support callers with issues related to Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking. If a caller seeks support from the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) (the Government-funded support system for potential victims of modern slavery) their details may be shared by the NRM competent authorities (UK Visas and Immigration and the National Crime Agency) with the police and immigration authorities or other relevant authorities in order to assist in the identification and decision-making process. The helpline makes callers fully aware of this prior to making any decision about seeking help through the NRM. The helpline will NEVER share personal information directly with immigration authorities or the police, unless the individual gives their specific consent.
What help can you offer to potential victims?
The helpline provides a range of support to help potential victims. Callers who are potential victims can be offered helped to consider their options; access crisis assistance; safety planning; emotional support, help with access to critical social and legal services and help to connect with law enforcement agencies to get out of a situation and stay safe. The helpline can also warm transfer potential victims to other services and support providers including providing help to access the National Referral Mechanism. Using the helpline directory of services, we can signpost and support potential victims to get help and support linked to their circumstances and their location in the UK.
Will the MS Helpline call me back?
The MS Helpline is predominantly an inbound contact centre, however in some circumstances we may call our callers back if agreed beforehand. We would never call someone back without their prior agreement.
What happens if a child calls the helpline?
If a child calls the helpline the helpline adviser will check to see if the child is safe and ascertain the reason for the call. The adviser will advise the child that if they are in danger or at risk the helpline will need to contact the police regardless of whether they want the police involved, in line with our child protocols based on Data Protection principles. Any referral will depend on whether the child is prepared to provide their personal details and the facts of the case. Nevertheless, the helpline will continue the call with the minor, even where the minor does not wish to give their personal details. The helpline will discuss the child’s situation with them and offer the appropriate support and guidance
What if I do not speak English?
Callers can contact the helpline regardless of what language they speak. The Helpline has access to telephone interpreters who provide over 80 different languages. The helpline adviser will stay on the line with you to facilitate the discussion and ask relevant questions through the interpreter. Please be aware that there may be a short delay whilst we connect to our interpreting service. We also seek team members who can speak other languages (this may vary as helpline personnel change) and we may call on their language skills as available and required.
Is there any other way to contact the MS Helpline and Resource Centre other than via phone?
Yes. As well as contacting us by telephone on 08000 121 700 you can also send an email to our email address at info.mshelpline@unseenuk.org or contact us via the contact page on our website http://www.modernslaveryhelpline.org/contact-us
Where does the helpline take calls from?
The helpline is a UK-wide helpline and takes calls from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. If a caller calls from outside the UK we will respond by providing advice, information and support, based on their particular circumstances. Where the caller may be calling in relation to an issue outside of the UK we will identify a relevant NGO or helpline operating in that jurisdiction to support the caller, and provide a warm handover where that is appropriate and possible.
Is the helpline number free to callers?

Yes. The helpline number 08000 121 700 is free to call from any UK landline or mobile phone. You can also contact us by email or through our online reporting form on our website www.modernslaveryhelpline.org.

When is the helpline open?
The helpline can be accessed 24/7, 365 days a year.
What should I expect when calling the MS Helpline?
Callers to the helpline will be able to speak to a member of the helpline team in confidence. Our advisers will talk to you in a non-judgemental, professional and supportive manner to give help and advice about modern slavery-related issues. If calling about a tip-off the helpline adviser will ask for further information about the situation, where it’s taking place and the callers proximity to it. If a caller is a potential victim, the helpline adviser will check to see if the person is safe, seek more information about the situation and offer advice, guidance and support based on what the caller wants. The helpline will also signpost to wider support services where a caller wants information relating to another issue, such as domestic violence or honour-based violence.
If I am unable to leave an exploitative situation, may I still call the MS Helpline?
Yes, absolutely. Helpline advisers will be able to help and advise regarding any situation of exploitation/slavery, regardless of whether the person feels able to leave the situation or not. Helpline advisers can help callers to safety-plan to keep themselves safe, think through their situation and provide options to access support and information should they choose to do so.
Who can contact the helpline?
Anyone who requires help, advice or information about all aspects of Modern Slavery can contact the helpline. This includes members of the public, potential victims, statutory agencies and businesses.
Do you provide training to other NGO’s/ professionals to help build a greater awareness of the modern slavery issues?
Yes. We provide CPD accredited training to any organisation or individual wanting to know more about modern slavery and how they can spot the signs.