The number of potential victims of trafficking and modern slavery in the UK has risen by more than a third, according to a new report released by the National Crime Agency (NCA).
The figures show that in 2017 5,145 potential victims were referred to the NCA, up from 3,804 in 2016. Those referred as victims of modern slavery and human trafficking (MSHT) came from 116 different nationalities, with UK, Albanian and Vietnamese nationals remaining the most commonly reported victims. For the first time British citizens were the largest nationality recorded in the figures, up from 326 in 2016 to 819 in 2017. The increase in British numbers is largely down to an increase in minors being referred as suspected victims of labour or sexual exploitation, up 66 per cent.
Whilst these increased figures suggest that awareness of the issue is growing, they nevertheless make for challenging reading. For too many people, the story of everyday life in the UK is one of exploitation. At the Legatum Institute we believe that all people, regardless of whether they feature in a migration, refugee or trafficking statistic, should have the opportunity to build pathways from poverty to prosperity. Our Global People Movements programme will work with local and international partners, to develop data driven solutions to what is fast becoming the greatest humanitarian challenge of our generation.