Trafficking in human beings exists all around the world. Although considerable attention was paid to trafficking for sexual exploitation in recent years, trafficking occurs for a variety of purposes, including forced labour, forced marriages, forced begging and exploitation for criminal activities.

According to the International Labour Organisation, globally there are at least 2.45 million people in forced labour as a result of trafficking.

We aim our activities to ensure that all victims of trafficking have their rights protected and are given access to non-conditional assistance. We believe this form of modern day slavery cannot be eradicated without protecting the rights of trafficked persons, those at risk of trafficking and addressing the causes and consequences of trafficking.

Our activities include research and monitoring, advocacy (including on behalf of individual trafficked persons) and lobbying work, and awareness raising and capacity building with various actors. Anti-Slavery International is also a member of various stakeholder and advisory groups in the UK, including at the Home Office and the UK Human Trafficking Centre.

Internationally, we work together with a number of organisations: Global Alliance Against Traffick in Women and its member oganisations; in Europe, our key partner is La Strada and its network members; in the UK, we are members of the ECPAT UK, an organisation with an outstanding expertise in addressing child trafficking. Outside of the NGO sphere we work with the trade unions, such as the TUC in the UK or the ITUC internationally (see below for links).

Work with inter-governmental institutions is essential in achieving a global sustainable change in tackling trafficking. To this end, our advocacy activities concentrate on direct involvement with institutions such as the UN (in particular the UNODC and UNHCR), ILO, OSCE (we are members of the Alliance Expert Coordination Team), the European Commission and the Council of Europe.

We address trafficking all around the world, with a particular focus on trafficking in the UK and Europe. Since the inception of the programme in 2000, we have contributed to the development and introduction of international conventions, anti-trafficking legislation in the UK and EU and development of the UK Action Plan on Trafficking.

In the past three years, we have been researching the incidence of trafficking for forced labour in the UK and other European countries in order to raise awareness about this form of trafficking. Through this programme, we achieved inclusion of this form of trafficking in the UK’s anti-trafficking policy and development of special systems to provide assistance to all victims of trafficking, regardless of their gender or form of exploitation.

We urge governments to sign up to international standards to protect the rights of trafficked persons and bring the protection of victims of trafficking, prosecution of traffickers, and prevention of this crime, into equilibrium. Unless the rights of those trafficked are upheld and protected, states will not succeed in the eradication of this form of slavery. Above all, we encourage governments to adopt the UNProtocol to Prevent and Suppress Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children and the Council of Europe Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings, which is the only international instrument setting up minimum standards of protection and assistance to victims. Anti-Slavery International cooperated intensively in the preparation of both of the Conventions, campaigned to promote them, resulting the UK signing the Council of Europe Convention in 2007 and committing to ratify in by the end of 2008.

Since 2007, we have been intensively working to ensure access of trafficked peoples’ access to justice, especially compensation for the harms suffered at the hands of traffickers. In the UK, we have conducted research uncovering obstacles preventing trafficked people from seeking compensation and identified test cases of trafficking for forced labour.


Look at our programme for more information.

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