Underground Lives: Modern Slavery in London

Hestia’s new report, Underground Lives: The Reality of Modern Slavery in London provides a statistical picture of modern slavery in London. Using data and responses from over 600 survivors, Hestia’s report reveals the true face of modern slavery in London is different to the national image. Using real life stories, the report also explores the physical and mental trauma carried by victims of modern slavery and the barriers they face while they recover and rebuild their lives.

Throughout 2016, Hestia delivered specialist services to 624 victims of modern slavery in 5 safe houses and outreach within 32 London boroughs.

In 2016, 1 in 4 victims of modern slavery in England were supported by Hestia.

As the leading organisation in London supporting victims of modern slavery, it is our duty to expose the extent of this cold, calculating business, and timing is crucial. The number of victims of modern slavery is growing rapidly every year. By May 2017, Hestia’s Modern Slavery Response Team had already surpassed the 2016 total of number of victims we supported.

The statistics around modern slavery in London differ greatly from the figures for the rest of the UK.  In 2016, two thirds of all victims in the capital were sexually exploited (vs. almost half nationally). Because of this, 81% of victims of modern slavery in London are female (vs. national average 51%). This fact highlighted the need of making data for London publicly available so we can jointly discuss ways of tackling this issue within the city once and for all.

  • Members of Hestia’s Modern Slavery Response Team

  • Hestia CEO, Patrick Ryan, with speaker Tatiana Gren-Jarden from the Anti Slavery Commissioner’s Office

  • Vernon Coaker MP, Co-Chair to the Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery APPG

  • Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime


Going Forward.

In response to the need for post-NRM* support, Hestia has developed the Phoenix Project. Working across London, the Phoenix Project will link victims of modern slavery with volunteers in business, education, law, housing and other crucial sectors across the capital. Doing so, we will support survivors to access those crucial connections within their new communities, helping them to make effective steps towards recovery and independence.

For more information on the Phoenix Project, please contact Abigail Ampofo on Abigail.ampofo@hestia.org or 0207 378 3107.