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The United Nations protocol defines Trafficking in Persons as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion for the purpose of exploitation. The protocol confirms that exploitation includes, at a minimum, prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour, slavery or the removal of organs.

It is estimated that 21 million people are victims of trafficking around the world, with one in every three victims being a child. Female victims continue to be primary targets, with women making up 46% and girls 19% of all victims of trafficking. However, in the past 15 years the share of boys among detected trafficking victims has increased five times.

Despite the seriousness of this crime, thousands of men, women and children are still falling into the hands of traffickers, both in their home countries and abroad. Human trafficking is a worldwide issue, with almost every country in the world affected; be that as a country of origin, transit or destination for the victims.

This year’s theme places the victims of human trafficking at the centre of the campaign, in order to listen and learn from survivors. This approach aims to provide a more victim-centred, effective approach in combating human trafficking.

Each case of trafficking is different, but there are common identifying factors to consider when determining if you, or someone else, is a victim of human trafficking:

  • a lack of freedom
  • work for very little or no pay
  • appear to be living in fear, be that of an individual or of forms of authority
  • have physical signs of abuse, such as cuts and bruises, or even a tattoo

In cases where children are concerned, it may be that:

  • they have money and possessions they can’t account for
  • they do not appear to live with a parent or guardian
  • behavioural red flags, such as being aggressive, withdrawn or anxious

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.


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 or 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.