Hestia responds to Mo Farah announcement that he was trafficked to the UK as a child

Sir Mo Farah has revealed in a BBC documentary that he was brought to the UK illegally as a child and forced to work as a domestic servant. He was flown over from the east African country aged nine by a woman he had never met, and then made to look after another family's children.

Image: BBC/Atomized Studios/Andy Boag)

CREDIT: Andy Boag/Atomized Studios

Patrick Ryan, Chief Executive of Hestia, said:

“We applaud Sir Mo Farah for his incredible bravery in sharing his story of being trafficked as a child. He has brought a human face to the often under-reported issue of modern slavery and power to the fight against trafficking. We know from our work with thousands of adults and dependent children affected by modern slavery that this is very much a live issue, and we hope that Sir Mo’s bravery will encourage others to come forward and seek help.”

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.

How to spot the signs of modern slavery

We all play a role in recognising and preventing this brutal crime, and here are some of the signs to look out for.

· Poor physical appearance

· Lack of contact with others

· Isolation

· Absence of belongings

· Poor living environment

Download our Spot the signs of modern slavery toolkit

How to report modern slavery

If something doesn't seem right, trust your instinct. Report it.

0300 303 8151 (The Salvation Army's 24/7, confidential referral line)

999 Call the police if you think someone is in immediate danger

Support Hestia’s work

Hestia’s modern slavery service started in 2011 and we have supported more than 5,000 victims since then. We provide six safe houses in London and Kent, as well as a pan-London outreach service working in every London borough.

In 2021 we supported over 2,600 adults and dependent children affected by modern slavery.

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.


We are working to change societal response to modern slavery and support those affected. Every donation provides us with an opportunity to help adults and children to recover to a life beyond crisis.