Man, victim of trafficking

You probably see people who are in slavery on a regular basis. They don’t have shackles, they might appear ordinary, but look closer and you might spot more worrying traits. What are the signs of slavery? Here are few signs to look out for.

Someone in slavery might:

  • appear to be under the control of someone else and reluctant to interact with others
  • not have personal identification on them
  • have few personal belongings, wear the same clothes every day or wear unsuitable clothes for work
  • not be able to move around freely
  • be reluctant to talk to strangers or the authorities
  • appear frightened, withdrawn, or show signs of physical or psychological abuse
  • dropped off and collected for work always in the same way, especially at unusual times, i.e. very early or late at night.


Take this short test and see how aware you might be of the signs of slavery. There are only 5 questions.

Take the test

What to do if you spot the signs?

If you suspect that someone is in slavery, DO NOT confront them or cause a scene as this will likely lead to increased harm for them. Instead, inform relevant authorities or organisations working in the field.

If you are in the UK and suspect someone might be in slavery, you have several options:

If you are outside of the UK, search online for the relevant helpline in your country. If you are abroad and think you are being exploited or have been trafficked, the first best option is always to contact your embassy or consulate for support.