Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Offences

Being accused of a human trafficking or modern slavery offence is extremely serious, and if convicted, you could receive up to life imprisonment, an unlimited fine, and could even be required to pay compensation to the alleged victims.

At Conspiracy Solicitor, our human trafficking solicitors will do everything in their power to preserve your rights and robustly defend your position, so you have the best possible chance of being released without charge or acquitted at trial.

Human trafficking and modern slavery are complex areas of law, with cases often involving an international element (for example, where people are brought into the country from overseas).

Our human trafficking and modern slavery solicitors have specialist knowledge and expertise in the law on human trafficking, including criminal offences under the Modern Slavery Act 2015, ‘county lines’ drug dealing offences, sexual exploitation, and forced labour.

For further advice and information, get in touch with our human trafficking solicitors today by calling 01476 591711 (or 07535 215140 for out-of-hours calls and emergency support) or fill in our enquiry form.

How our human trafficking solicitors can help you

In many criminal law cases, the difference between an acquittal and a conviction is the help and guidance of an expert criminal law solicitor with specialist experience in the allegations against you.

When you instruct us, we will explore every facet of the circumstances surrounding your case, evaluate the prosecution’s evidence (and challenge it if possible), and take immediate action to secure any evidence necessary to defend your position.

If you have been arrested or invited to a police station to interview under caution in relation to a human trafficking and modern slavery offence, it is incredibly important that you do not answer questions about the alleged offence until we are by your side as anything you say can be used as evidence against you.

Our trafficking solicitors can attend police stations anywhere, anytime to advise and support you and can continue to support you throughout the investigation process. In many situations, we are able to get our clients released from the police station without charge.

If you are unfortunately charged with an offence, we will use the extent of our knowledge to build you a strong defence case and arrange highly skilled representation for you in court.

Our modern slavery and human trafficking services

Domestic servitude

Domestic servitude refers to a form of modern slavery and exploitation where individuals, often immigrants or vulnerable citizens, are coerced or deceived into providing domestic labour under exploitative conditions.

These individuals may be subjected to long hours, low or no pay, physical or emotional abuse, and restricted freedom of movement.

Domestic servitude is a grave violation of human rights and is illegal, as well as internationally recognised as a form of human trafficking.

The UK has laws and measures in place to combat this crime, including the Modern Slavery Act 2015, which aims to identify and support victims while prosecuting perpetrators.

Sexual exploitation

Sexual exploitation is a form of abuse where individuals, often vulnerable or coerced, are forced or manipulated into engaging in sexual activities against their will or under exploitative conditions.

This can include prostitution, pornography, or other forms of sexual coercion. Victims of sexual exploitation may be subjected to physical and psychological harm, threats, or deception.

This crime is considered a grave violation of human rights and is addressed under various legal frameworks, including the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

Criminal exploitation

Criminal exploitation refers to the manipulation, coercion, or recruitment of individuals, often young or vulnerable, by criminal networks for illicit activities.

This form of exploitation commonly involves drug trafficking, gang involvement, or other criminal endeavours.

Victims are often groomed and subjected to threats, violence, or financial inducements to participate in unlawful acts, such as pick-pocketing, cannabis cultivation, and shoplifting.

‘County lines’

County lines refers to a criminal practice where urban drug gangs, typically based in larger cities, extend their drug-selling operations into smaller towns and rural areas.

They establish a network, often involving vulnerable or coerced individuals, to transport and distribute illegal drugs.

These lines are marked by the use of dedicated mobile phones (burner phones) to coordinate drug deals, which cross county borders, hence the term "county lines."

This phenomenon has serious social and criminal implications, contributing to drug-related violence and exploitation of young people.

Organ removal

Organ trafficking involves the illegal trade of organs, typically kidneys, livers, or other body parts, often obtained from vulnerable individuals through coercion, deception, or force.

These organs are then sold on the black market to those in need of transplants, exploiting the desperate shortage of legal organ donations.

Organ trafficking often preys on the financially disadvantaged, subjecting them to physical and psychological harm.

This criminal activity is not only a grave violation of human rights but also poses serious health risks to both donors and recipients.

Common questions about human trafficking and modern slavery

What is human trafficking and modern slavery?

Many of our clients face investigation for offences under the Modern Slavery Act 2015, an Act which sets out the laws and offences of human trafficking, slavery, forced labour, and exploitation.

The legal definition of modern slavery is:

  • Forcing someone to work using either physical or mental threats
  • Completely controlling someone using physical or mental abuse or threats
  • The buying and selling of a human being as property
  • Placing restrictions on another person’s freedoms

The legal definition of human trafficking is:

  • Facilitating the travel of another person, with or without their consent (whether they are an adult or child), with the view of them being exploited

If you are looking for skilled and experienced solicitors who deal with modern slavery cases, our team of experts can help.

Our modern slavery solicitors will advise and represent you throughout to make sure you get the best possible result at trial.

Is modern slavery the same as human trafficking?

Modern slavery and human trafficking are related but distinct concepts. Modern slavery is a broader term encompassing various forms of exploitation, including forced labour, servitude and forced marriage. It involves depriving individuals of their freedom and rights, for exploitation.

Human trafficking, on the other hand, specifically refers to the recruitment, transportation, or harbouring of individuals through force, coercion, or deception for the purpose of exploitation, which can include slavery. Human trafficking is one of the means through which modern slavery can occur.

Both are serious crimes, and the UK has laws and measures in place to combat both modern slavery and human trafficking.

If somebody claims to be a victim of modern slavery or human trafficking, the CPS and Police can refer them to the 'National Referral Mechanism’.

The National Referral Mechanism (NRM) is a system used in the United Kingdom to identify and support potential victims of human trafficking and modern slavery.

It is designed to provide assistance and protection to individuals who may have been trafficked or enslaved.

Is modern slavery a criminal offence?

Yes, modern slavery is a criminal offense. In the last decade, the government has enacted the Modern Slavery Act 2015 to address this issue.

Under this legislation, various forms of modern slavery, including forced labour, domestic servitude, and sexual exploitation, are criminalised.

The Act imposes penalties on individuals or organisations involved in modern slavery, including fines and imprisonment.

It also mandates transparency measures for businesses to ensure their supply chains are free from slavery and exploitation.

What are examples of human trafficking and modern slavery?

These definitions are wide and can include a range of situations, including:

  • Domestic servitude – forcing someone to work in a private household to do domestic housework and look after children, usually for long hours and little to no pay.
  • Sexual exploitation – including forced prostitution, sexual abuse, and child sexual abuse.
  • Criminal exploitation – forcing or coercing someone into committing criminal acts such as pick-pocketing, cannabis cultivation, and shoplifting.
  • ‘County lines’ – a specific type of criminal exploitation involving the exploitation of children and vulnerable people to traffic drugs, often across county lines between large cities and rural areas.
  • Organ removal – trafficking people for the purpose of removing and selling their organs.

What is the sentence for human trafficking in the UK?

In the UK, the sentences for human trafficking can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case and the severity of the offence.

Human trafficking is a serious criminal offence, and those found guilty of it can face substantial prison sentences.

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 provides for a maximum penalty of life imprisonment for the most serious human trafficking offenses, particularly those involving multiple victims and extreme exploitation, lesser offenses may result in shorter prison terms.

What is the sentence for modern slavery in the UK?

The sentences for modern slavery in the UK can vary depending on the specifics of each case and the severity of the offense.

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 prescribes significant penalties for those convicted of modern slavery-related crimes. For offenses such as forced labour, servitude, or human trafficking, perpetrators can face lengthy prison sentences, including life imprisonment for the most egregious cases.

Sentences are determined by the courts based on factors like the number of victims, the degree of exploitation, and the involvement of organised crime.

Why choose our human trafficking and Modern Slavery Act lawyers?

Conspiracy Solicitors is a firm of dedicated specialist criminal defence solicitors with varied expertise across all criminal matters, including serious allegations of human trafficking and modern slavery.

Several members of our team are professional duty solicitors and we can provide proficient advice and representation to clients at police stations or at court.

Our trafficking solicitors are contactable 24/7 via our out-of-hours line on 07535215140 and can arrange for representatives to attend police stations to assist you anywhere, at any time.

We are accredited by the Law Society in Criminal Litigation for our skills in criminal defence and conspiracy cases and Chris Milligan holds higher rights of audience, meaning he regularly represents clients in the Crown Court and Court of Appeal.

Get in touch with our human trafficking lawyers today

For further advice and information, get in touch with our human trafficking solicitors today by calling 01476 591711 (or 07535 215140 for out of hours calls and emergency support) or by filling in our enquiry form.

Whether you need advice on human trafficking offences or modern slavery offences, our team are here to help throughout the whole process.