CARE: Christian Action, Research and Education

For what you believe
Open menu Close menu
Modernslavery 0
Human Trafficking

Press release: New figures show sharp rise in the number of modern slavery referrals

2 April 2020

The number of potential modern slavery victims referred to the UK’s National Referral Mechanism (NRM) rose sharply last year, according to the latest statistics published today.

In total, 10,627 potential victims were referred to the NRM in 2019, a 52 per cent increase from 2018 and the first time since records began that the total number is over 10,000.

The latest NRM statistics also show that two-thirds of victims said their exploitation took place in the UK only, while 26 per cent said it was exploitation that took place overseas only.

More than 40 per cent of referrals were for victims who claimed they had been exploited as children, with labour exploitation being the most common form of exploitation.

The three most common nationalities referred to the NRM were from the UK, Albania and Vietnam.

Anti-trafficking charity CARE today called again on the Government to issue new guidance for public authorities on identifying and helping victims of modern slavery during the coronavirus pandemic.

Responding to the figures, CARE’s Chief Executive, Nola Leach, said:

“To see such a sharp rise in the overall number of referrals to the NRM is incredibly disturbing.

“While some of this can be attributed to increased police focus on modern slavery and forces becoming better at identifying potential victims, such a big jump in referrals is still shocking.

“We must never forget that behind these statistics are real people, whose lives have been cruelly ruined by those who would treat them as mere commodities.

“With the coronavirus pandemic disrupting all of our lives, we again today call on the Government to issue clear guidance for public authorities so they can continue this vital work of identifying and supporting victims.

“It is crucial that we make sure the support for victims remains in place, because without the right support, they cannot hope to rebuild their shattered lives.”


Notes to editors:

For interview requests or more information please contact James Mildred: // 07717516814

CARE is a well-established mainstream Christian charity providing resources and helping to bring Christian insight and experience to matters of public policy and practical caring initiatives. CARE is represented in the UK Parliaments and Assemblies.

The new NRM statistics can be found here:


Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is one of the greatest violations of human dignity. We are fighting for effective laws that will help victims get better support.

Find out more about the cause

Sign up for Impact Direct, and email publications

By signing up stay in touch you agree to receive emails from CARE. You can change your mailing preferences at any time either by getting in touch with CARE, or through the links on any of our emails.

Recent news

Isaac quesada d ZYI4ga2e UA unsplash

New test will see more babies with Down’s syndrome being aborted

Campaigners have spoken out as the UK Government prepares to roll out a new Down’s syndrome test across England.

Keep reading
Family 26 Tax 28p129 x

Family and work life in a pandemic

The last five months has brought about massive changes in work and family life for millions in the UK. Only a small minority of children have been at school, a large majority of parents have started working full time from home and many have had to significantly adapt their working times.

Keep reading
Shutterstock 300750932 0 0

Scots Hate Crime Bill Will Have Chilling Effect on Performing Arts

The professional body, representing many of Scotland’s top lawyers has strongly criticised the Scottish government’s proposed new hate crime law.

Keep reading