Facts and Figures

It is our aim for the services we provide to assist survivors to become empowered, independent and resilient individuals. Numbers can misrepresent issues or be incredibly overwhelming, but they are important. Below you will find a fact sheet that gives an overview of the current facts and figures for slavery and trafficking in the UK and further afield.

1. Almost 21 million people worldwide are victims of forced labour – 11.4 million women and girls and 9.5 million men and boys.

2. Of those exploited by individuals or enterprises, 4.5 million are victims of forced sexual exploitation.

3. Forced labour in the private economy generates US $150 billion in illegal profits per year.

4. 5,145 people were identified as potential victims of trafficking in the UK in 2017. This is a 35% increase on 2016 figures.

5. 2,118 of the 5,145 potential victims of trafficking identified in 2017 were children. This is a 66% increase on 2016 figures.

6. There is no typical victim of slavery. Victims are men, women and children of all ages, ethnicities and nationalities and cut across the population. However, it’s normally more prevalent among the most vulnerable or within minority or socially excluded groups. Approximately 51% of victims in the UK are women, and 48% are men (<1% transsexual). Child victims are victims of child abuse and should therefore be treated as such using existing child protection procedures and statutory protocols.

7. Poverty, limited opportunities at home, lack of education, unstable social and political conditions, economic imbalances and war are some of the key drivers that contribute to someone’s vulnerability in becoming a victim of modern slavery. What’s more, victims can often face more than one type of abuse and slavery, for example, being sold on to another trafficker and then forced into another form of exploitation.

8. Potential victims have been reported from 116 different countries of origin in 2016. The top seven most common countries of origin for potential victims of trafficking recorded in 2016 were the UK, Albania, Vietnam, China, Nigeria, Romania and Sudan, with potential victims originating from the UK representing 16% of all referrals to the National Referral Mechanism last year. This represents a 60% increase in referrals for potential victims of trafficking of UK nationals.


For further facts and figures you can use these links:

National Referral Mechanism Statistics
Trafficking in Persons Report
United Nations Global Report