Research and analysis

Economic and social costs of modern slavery

The aim of this report is to estimate the cost of modern slavery in the UK.


The economic and social costs of modern slavery

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Estimating the economic and social cost of modern slavery is important to better understand the wider impacts of this crime. By contributing to the evidence base in this way, the research is intended to inform the policy and operational response and better understand the value of preventative work.

This report follows the methodology used in ‘The Economic and Social Costs of Crime’ (Heeks et al., 2018) and adapts it where necessary to reflect some of the particular characteristics of this offence type.

The report estimates the total cost of modern slavery in the UK in the year ending March 2017 to be between £3.3 billion and £4.3 billion. The physical and emotional harms to victims represent by far the biggest component of the cost.

You can also read the terms of reference of the independent review into the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

Published 30 July 2018
Last updated 17 August 2018 + show all updates
  1. Removed the file for the terms of reference for the Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 which is now available as a separate publication.

  2. First published.