As a society, we’re gradually becoming conscious to the reality that is modern slavery. We know that it happens, but we’re often unaware of just how commonplace it is, or that it’s happening in our towns, on our streets and to people that we walk past every day.

It’s the responsibility of all institutions and organisations, as well as the general public, to help end this brutal and violent crime once and for all. But what can you do to help? Here are four simple ways.

1. Know the signs

The first step to helping to end modern slavery is being aware of the signs, and keeping an active eye out. Prominent signs include malnourishment, a reluctance to speak or maintain eye contact and signs of poor hygiene. Check out our full list of potential signs here.

2. Report

Once you’re aware of the signs, you may become aware of a potential victim of slavery in your town. Reporting your concerns could be critical in helping that person to escape and receive support. Here are some ways to report your concerns:

  • Contact The Salvation Army’s Confidential Referral helpline on 0300 3038 151. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, this helpline is for those who feel they may be a victim of modern slavery or for this worried about someone else.

  • Call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 to report a suspicion, get help or seek advice. Remember, if you or someone else is in an emergency, call the police on 999.

  • Download the Unseen app from the app store. The app, launched by Unseen in partnership with BT, makes recognising the signs and reporting concerns even easier.

 3. Monitor your slavery footprint

Unbeknownst to you, you may be contributing to modern slavery through the products you buy or the services you use. For example, women exploited for forced labour are often found in nail bars, whereas men may be exploited in car washes.

There are ways to you can play your part and avoid buying into modern slavery. For example, The Clewer Initiative’s  Safe Car Wash app enables you to spot the signs of modern slavery at car washes so you can ensure the one you use is free of exploitation. You could also write to companies where modern slavery could exist in their supply chain (food, clothing etc.) and ask for them to publish data on what they’re doing to make sure this isn’t the case.

4. Donate

We are working to increase societal response to modern slavery and support those affected. Every donation we and similar charities counts and provides us with another chance to help these individuals and their children to rebuild their lives. To donate, please click here.

What we are doing?

Our modern slavery service has been active since 2011 and we’ve supported over 2,500 victims since then. We provide pan-London outreach support as well as 5 safe houses in London and Kent.

Our Phoenix Project provides volunteer-led, long-term support to victims of modern slavery in partnership with the British Red Cross. Read more about our services here.

We’re also asking you to dig deep in the back of your drawers for your old smart phones. Whether it’s through being able to find their way around London, learn English or just take photos of their children growing up, your unused phone could truly change the life of a victim of modern slavery. Here’s how you can send yours in to us.

From 16-20 October 2018, marking Anti-Slavery Day, we’re hosting #ArtIsFreedom, an art exhibition at the Anise Gallery in Central London celebrating artwork by victims of modern slavery. Pop by for free!