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Slavery on your High Street

Work in Progress: Using real people and real stories, Howell Productions is currently in production for a immersive theatre piece that explores modern slavery in the UK.

Even though most people think that slavery only exists overseas, modern slavery in the UK is thriving. The British Government estimates that tens of thousands of people are in modern slavery in the UK today.

Most people are trafficked into the UK from overseas, but there is also a significant number of British nationals in slavery. The most common countries of origin are Albania, Vietnam, Nigeria, Romania and Poland.

Most commonly people are trafficked into forced labour in industries such as agriculture, construction, hospitality, manufacturing and car washes. Many women and girls are trafficked for sexual exploitation.

Many people, again mostly women and girls, also end up in domestic slavery.

Although the Modern Slavery Act was a step in the right direction, it is too heavily focused on policing, and doesn’t provide protection for the victims. 

“Only 1% of victims of slavery have a chance to see their exploiter brought to justice.”

Kevin Hyland, UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner.

Working closely with several anti-slavery charities we aim to create a piece of theatre that will open your eyes to the horrors that lie behind closed doors. 

For more information as this play develops please SUBSCRIBE.

10 things you didn’t know about slavery in the UK

  1. The UK Government estimates there are tens of thousands people in slavery in Britain today

  2. In 2017, over 5,000 people were referred to British authorities as potential victims of slavery. Up one third from 2016

  3. This includes over 2,000 children

  4. But only 13% of these individuals were assessed to be modern slavery victims at the end of the year.

  5. Of the cases involving people from outside the EU, this figure goes down to less than 3%

  6. Referrals included possible victims from 116 countries

  7. 46% of people referred were in labour exploitation and 34% were in sexual exploitation

  8. Up to 34% of victims of slavery are estimated to be re-trafficked

  9. UK nationals make the biggest group of potential victims

  10. 2016 saw the first conviction and sentencing of a British businessman for human trafficking

The Modern Slavery Act 2015

  • Makes prosecuting the traffickers easier by consolidating the existing slavery offences

  • Increases sentences for slavery offences

  • Bans prosecuting victims of slavery for crimes they were forced to commit by their traffickers, such as drug production or petty thefts

  • Introduces child trafficking advocates to better protect trafficked children

  • Makes big UK businesses publically report on how they tackle slavery in their global supply chains

  • Establishes an independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner to overlook the UK’s policies to tackle slavery

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