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Monday the 30th July 2018 is World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.

Human trafficking is a crime that exploits men, children and women of all ages for numerous purposes, including forced labour and sex. Sadly, this takes place in every country in the world.

It is estimated that 21 million people are victims of trafficking around the globe. One third of these people are children.

This world day highlights just how shockingly common human trafficking is. Human trafficking can lead to people being forced into sex, prostitution, a world of drugs and violence as well as forced labour and slavery.

Every person has the right to live their lives freely in the way in which they wish to. Human trafficking tends to take place as a result of false promises, deceit and coercion. It is of course wrong in every possible way and it is important that awareness is raised to help people spot the signs of human trafficking and alert professionals if they believe it is taking place.

The most common signs of an adult or child that are a victim of trafficking are:

- they may lack freedom

- they may work for very little or no pay

- they may seem to be in debt to a person that stays close to them

- they may live in fear of someone including the person that they seem in debt to

- they may have injuries which are signs of them being subjected to physical abuse such as cuts, bruises or marks

- they may relocate regularly

- they may be under pressure to keep personal details to themselves and not share anything about where they live or who they are closest to

- they may not want to make friendships or any working relationships with others due to fear of the consequences of the person controlling them

If you suspect human trafficking you must report this to the Police. You can also report it to Crimestoppers.

There is the Modern Day Slavery Foundation’s helpline who can be contacted 24 hours a day on 0800 0121 700.

If you believe a child is in danger of or is being trafficked then you can contact the NSPCC’s helpline on 0808 8005 000.

After alerting the relevant authorities victims of human trafficking may wish to seek help and advice from a Solicitor particularly, if they are at risk from the people or person that was trafficking them.

What can we do?

At Ramsdens our Family department can offer advice in relation to Forced Marriage (people may be trafficked for the purposes of being forced to marry) and domestic violence. We offer advice on all areas of law such as divorce, separation and children matters.

As mentioned above, people that are being trafficked can be subjected to violence. At Ramsdens our Abuse team also advise and fully support survivors of such violence whether that be physical or sexual in proceeding with a civil claim for damages either via the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority or against the perpetrator, any affiliated organisation or public authority which may have failed them. We work closely with the survivor supporting from reporting to the Police to rehabilitation.

If any issues in this article have affected you or someone you know please contact our Ramsdens offices on 01484 821 500 and we can direct you to the correct department. We have a number of offices across Yorkshire and we also offer early morning and late evening appointments.