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Spot the Signs

As members of the public we play a crucial role in the fight against modern slavery because we can be the eyes and ears on the ground, helping to identify and report the instances of exploitation that are happening all around us. We are told that in most cases it is the public that generates the first report which eventually leads to police operations being carried out and trafficking rings uncovered.

We may unknowingly come across victims of modern slavery in our day to day lives; it is important we learn to spot the signs so we can recognise them effectively and use our voices to speak on their behalf by reporting any potential exploitation we may suspect.

What is human trafficking

A victim of modern slavery may:

  • never go out unaccompanied

  • appear under the control of someone else

  • lack access to their ID or passport

  • show signs of physical or psychological abuse

  • look malnourished or unwell 

  • appear frightened and withdrawn, overly submissive and may avoid eye contact

  • be living in unsuitable accommodation or living and working at the same address

  • be evasive about their wages and living conditions

  • be unable to move freely

If something doesn’t seem right it probably isn’t. Trust your instincts and report it. If you suspect someone may be a victim of exploitation please take the following action:-


If you think someone is in immediate danger, please call the Police on 999.

For local concerns:

Email ASIOX at and we will create an alert for the Modern Slavery Adviser to Oxfordshire for further investigation.  All information will be treated as confidential.


For national or other concerns:

Call the UK Modern Slavery & Exploitation Helpline in confidence at

08000 121 700


Mistreatment of workers:

If you have concerns about the mistreatment of workers, please contact the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority

Tel: 0800 432 0804  Email:

If you think someone is in immediate danger, please call the Police on 999.

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