Modern Slavery

Modern slavery is a form of organised crime in which individuals including children and young people are treated as commodities and exploited for criminal gain. Traffickers and slave drivers trick, force and/or persuade children and parents to let them leave their homes. Grooming methods are used to gain the trust of a child and their parents, e.g. the promise of a better life or education, which results in a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment.

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 (applicable mostly in England and Wales [1] includes two substantive offences a) human trafficking, and b) slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour.

Children are not considered able to give ‘informed consent’ to their own exploitation (including criminal exploitation), so it is not necessary to consider the means used for the exploitation – whether they were forced, coerced or deceived, i.e. a child’s consent to being trafficked is irrelevant and it is not necessary to prove coercion or any other inducement.

Government guidance on  Victims of Modern Slavery is designed to help staff identify and help potential victims of modern slavery (including human trafficking) in England and Wales.

The Safeguarding Children Partnership Boards across Cheshire have developed a Modern Slavery Victim Referral Pathway whic


National Guidance

National Referral Mechanism

Child Trafficking is child abuse.  When an agency comes into contact with a child who may have been trafficked Children’s Social Care and the Police should be notified immediately.

The National Referral Mechanism (NRM) is a framework for identifying and referring potential victims of modern slavery and ensuring they receive the appropriate support.

This guidance, published by the Home Office, outlines the role of the first responder, the use of Children’s Services and how to refer a child who may have been trafficked into the National Referral Mechanism (NRM).  It also includes information on the steps after referral, including reasonable grounds test, decisions and reviews.

National referral mechanism guidance: adult (England and Wales) – GOV.UK (

If you are concerned that an adult or child is a victim of Modern Slavery please call 08000 121700 or Crime Stoppers on 0800 555111