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 Evidence and Identification. 

Human trafficking and modern slavery, by their nature are hidden processes. Identification of trafficking, slavery and exploitation is one thing but producing the evidence, sufficient for a statutory response is sometimes more challenging. In this session we will explore the nature of evidence and describe trafficking, slavery and exploitation as a pattern that emerges from the intereactions within a complex of systems. 

Points To Prov

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 is criminal legislation that introduced statutory definitions of Trafficking, Slavery Servitude and Forced Labour to the United Kingdom's Legal System. The definitions mean that there now exists a measure of behaviour and actions and a framework for the organisation of evidence required to establish a range of modern slavery offences. 
ACTIVITY: Watch the Q & A Video featuring Caroline Haughey QC 


Other factors that may be indicators of forced labour include (but are not limited to):There are a number of factors which may, depending on the circumstances, indicate that an individual might be held in servitude or subjected to forced or compulsory labour. The essential elements are those of coercion or deception, which may be demonstrated in a number of ways. The kind of behaviour that would normally, of itself, be evidence of coercion includes (but is not limited to): 
violence or threats of violence by the employer or the employer's representative; 
threats against the worker's family; 
threats to expose the worker to the authorities, for example because of the worker's immigration status or offences they may have committed in the past; 
the person's documents, such as a passports or other identification, being withheld by the employer; 
restriction of movement; 
debt bondage; 
withholding of wages. 
Other factors that may be indicators of forced labour include (but are not limited to): 
the worker being given no information, or false information, about the law and their employment rights; 
excessive working hours being imposed by the employer; 
hazardous working conditions being imposed by the employer; 
unwarranted and perhaps unexplained deductions from wages; 
the employer not paying the full tax or national insurance contributions for the worker; 
the absence of any formal or implied contract of employment; 
poor accommodation provided by the employer; 
misleading information having been given about the nature of the employment; 
the person being isolated from contact with others; 
money having been exchanged with other employers/traffickers etc. for the person's services in an arrangement which has not been agreed with the person concerned or which is not reflected in his remuneration. 

Elements of the Offences of Slavery, Servitude and Compulsory or Forced Labour.  Slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour are not specifically defined in the Act. In interpreting the offence therefore, police, prosecutors and the courts must refer to existing case-law on Article 4 ECHR and international conventions to find guidance defining the parameters of each of the terms. A brief synopsis of the terms follows. 

Slavery or Servitude 
Slavery is described as the status or condition of a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching the right of ownership are exercised. In essence, characteristics of ownership need to be present for a state of slavery to exist. 
Servitude is a linked but much broader term than slavery. It includes, in addition to the obligation to provide certain services to another, the obligation on the "serf" to live on the other's property and the impossibility of changing his status". 
Forced or Compulsory Labour 
The ECHR, in the case of Van der Mussele affirmed that the International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions were the starting point for interpreting Article 4. The conventions defined forced or compulsory labour as being "all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily". 
Domestic Case Law 
The case of William Connors and others [2013] offers some further guidance on the distinction between these 3 elements. This case involved a family who, cajoled, bullied and through deception, recruited vulnerable men to work for them. The men worked long hours in very poor conditions 7 days a week, whilst being subjected to violence, threats and abuse. A manifestation of this control was that many of the victims were deprived of the will to leave; others were too demoralised to do so. All five defendants were convicted of a single count of conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour. During the course of the trial, the judge directed the jury to acquit the defendants of conspiracy to hold a person in slavery or servitude. The trial judge had commented that in order for servitude to be established, a court must find that it was impossible for the workers to change their status. 

Invisible Chains 

To determine whether someone may be a victim of slavery, servitude or forced labour. it is important to consider all the circumstances including e their age, family relationship and any mental or physical illness which may make the person more vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation. 
In practice, conditions of servitude and forced labour often involve physical and sexualviolence and restriction of liberty. However, in establishing that a person has been held in servitude or required to undertake forced labour does not require proof that actual physical force was used or that the victim was physically detained or imprisoned. There may be situations where no physical violence is used or there are no restrictions on movement, but psychological or coercive means are used to effect control, including confiscating the victim's passport, or keeping them in isolation. Requiring someone to work long hours with few breaks and in poor conditions which are contrary to human dignity might reflect the circumstances in which exploited victims are compelled to work, where they are deprived of essential needs and subject to humiliation, threats and insults. 
Accommodation may have been made a condition of employment, for which a high rent is paid, comparative to earnings, and which creates a debt bondage relationship. The victim may be told that if they leave the accommodation they will lose their employment or have to continue to pay for accommodation. Whilst they may be physically free to leave, they are effectively a prisoner of their circumstances. 


Watch the video from Anti-Slavery International. This short film "Invisible Chains" describes debt bondage in India's brick Kilns. Note how the debt bondage is intergenerational and controls entire families. 
How might patterns of debt bondage manifest themselves in other forms of trafficking and exploitation in the UK, for instance in the contexts of sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation and forced labour (you may want to revisit the case studies in session 1)
Follow Mike as he makes a delivery. Something Doesn't feel right - make a note of all the evidence for potential Modern Slavery in the form of Domestic Servitude. 
See how many possible indicators you noticed or missed with Detective Constable Chris Nield of Greater Manchester Police. 


In this session we have reviewed the definition of slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and potential evidence for exploitation. As Chris Nield explains, it can be very hard to detect modern slavery and to identify where the threshold of exploitation lies. Often the possible indicators are noticed in fleeting moments which are hard to make sense of in isolation. Knowing what to look out for and what our legal definitions are help us to identify when something is wrong and share those worrying observations - this is often how the jigsaw comes together. 

Please proceed to the conclusion of this course. 

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