What is modern slavery?

Modern slavery is a serious crime in which people are coerced or deceived into a situation where they are exploited, for the purpose of making a profit. The offence is punishable by up to life imprisonment under the 2015 Modern Slavery Act. 

Modern slavery takes many forms including trafficking for sexual exploitation (including prostitution, strip clubs, escort work and pornography), domestic servitude (including working as cleaners, carers or nannies) and forced labour in work such as nail bars and car washes.

What we do

Safe houses and advocacy

Hestia’s modern slavery service started in 2011 and we have supported over 2,500 victims since then. We provide 5 safe houses in London and Kent, as well as a pan-London outreach service working in every London borough.

We supported 870 adult victims of modern slavery and 315 dependent children in 2017.

This represents the majority of adult victims of modern slavery in London for that period.

We work closely with The Salvation Army to deliver support to victims who have been referred into the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). The NRM is a national framework that ensures victims of modern slavery are identified and receive appropriate support.

Phoenix Project

In 2018 Hestia launched the Phoenix Project to provide volunteer-led long-term support to victims of modern slavery in partnership with the British Red Cross. 

Read more about the Phoenix Project

Underground Lives

As the main organisation in London working with victims of modern slavery we are committed to using what we learn to improve policy and practice.

Read more about Underground Lives


The public and businesses have a vital role to play in combatting and reporting cases of modern slavery. Our bespoke training package can be tailored to your organisation. For more information, please contact [email protected]

Get support

If you are concerned about someone, please call The Salvation Army's confidential Referral Helpline on 0300 3038151. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for anyone who feels they might be a victim of modern slavery and in need of assistance, or if you encounter someone you suspect may be a victim of modern slavery.


If you have any queries about our Modern Slavery Response, please contact Hekate Papadaki, Head of Innovation & Partnership | [email protected] | +44 (0) 7780 463 588 

To learn more about our service, please contact Ella Read, Area Manager for Modern Slavery Response | [email protected] | +44 (0) 7957 423524

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