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Horror statistics behind trafficking and slavery

At our January supper meeting we hosted Kate from Hampshire Police as our guest speaker.

Kate, who works as part of the team that deals with Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking, explained what the most common terms that are used actually mean.

Smuggling – the person is free at the end

Trafficking – is movement and exploitation (for children). For adults some form of control needs to be shown as well (eg debt bondage).

The movement could be within the same area or further afield (including across the world).

Exploitation can mean forced labour, forced marriage or criminal or sexual exploitation.

Statistics indicate that 403 million people in the world are living in slavery (136,000 in the UK).

She gave some examples of cases she has been involved and highlighted the gaps in the support given to victims.

In Hampshire, sexually exploitation is happening by phone (as sex chat lines) in brothels as well sex workers on the streets.

She also mentioned some support services in particular the Amber Project and the Tulip Clinic.

Her main hope is to create a drop-in centre to support victims and assist them if they seek refuge.

Finally, she mentioned the Modern Slavery Helpline 08000 121 700 where you can report a suspicion or seek advice.