Human Trafficking in the UK
Owing to a variety of factors, including a widespread lack of awareness and the clandestine and constantly evolving nature of the problem, it is difficult to gain an truly accurate picture of trafficking in the UK or elsewhere. Therefore, our understanding of the true extent of human trafficking and modern slavery in the UK remains somewhat incomplete.
Statistics derived from the National Referral Mechanism indicate that in 2014 2,340 potential victims from 96 different countries were referred. The NRM reveals that victims are exploited in various ways in the UK, including sexual exploitation, forced labour, domestic servitude, and organ harvesting. The most common form of exploitation recorded for adult victims was sexual exploitation, whilst minors were most commonly exploited for forced labour.
A full breakdown of the NRM statistics can be found here.
However, the extent of human trafficking in the UK is likely to be far greater than the NRM statistics would suggest. The Home Office has estimated in its Modern Slavery Strategy that there may be as many as 13,000 people held in slavery in the UK.