Policy paper

Modern slavery strategy

Launched in November 2014, the modern slavery strategy sets out our comprehensive cross-government approach to fighting modern slavery.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Modern slavery strategy


Modern slavery encompasses slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking. Traffickers and slave drivers coerce, deceive and force individuals against their will into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment.

This strategy details the wide-ranging actions that we expect from government departments, agencies and partners in the UK and, importantly, internationally. Civil society organisations are equally important partners in delivering commitments across our response.

The scale of modern slavery in the UK is significant. Modern slavery crimes are being committed across the country and there have been year on year increases in the number of victims identified. Work by the Home Office Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Bernard Silverman, has estimated that in 2013 there were between 10,000 and 13,000 potential victims of modern slavery in the UK.

This strategy builds on and adapts the framework that has been successfully implemented in both our serious and organised crime and counter terrorism strategies. It has 4 components:

  • Pursue: prosecuting and disrupting individuals and groups responsible for modern slavery.

  • Prevent: preventing people from engaging in modern slavery.

  • Protect: strengthening safeguards against modern slavery by protecting vulnerable people from exploitation and increasing awareness and resilience against this crime.

  • Prepare: reducing the harm causes by modern slavery through improved victim identification and enhanced support and protection

The Home Office has published the new research led by its Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Bernard Silverman, to establish a better understanding of the scale of modern slavery in the UK.

Published 29 November 2014