There are between 10 and 13 thousand potential victims of slavery in the UK, a new research published by the Home Office has revealed.
The figure was released as the government published a wide-ranging Modern Slavery Strategy to tackle slavery both in the UK and internationally.
The strategy sets out ongoing work to tackle international modern slavery crime at source by working with law enforcement, civil society organisations and governments overseas.
Home Secretary Theresa May said: “The first step to eradicating the scourge of modern slavery is acknowledging and confronting its existence. The estimated scale of the problem in modern Britain is shocking and these new figures starkly reinforce the case for urgent action.
“That is why I have introduced a Modern Slavery Bill, the first of its kind in Europe. But I have always been clear that legislation is only part of the answer.”
She said that while the law must be rigorously enforced, there was need for a wide-ranging activity. “This strategy sets out the government’s approach which puts victims at the heart of everything we do,” Ms May said. “Everyone must play their part if we are to consign slavery to history where it belongs.”