accessibility & help

Modern slavery and trafficking

Incredibly, there are still slaves and trafficking victims all over the world, including in the UK.

Woman holding hands on her face

Here’s what you probably don’t know about 21st century slavery – and the how the Red Cross is responding.

How we help people

Survivors of trafficking and exploitation are hugely vulnerable. They may require help from a range of Red Cross services.

Our emergency response teams often set up reception centres for exploited and potentially trafficked people, once local police or the National Crime Agency (NCA) identify them. These are open 24 hours a day for a short-term period. Inside, we:

  • provide emergency provisions, such as food, clothes and blankets
  • offer a listening ear and emotional support
  • give first aid.

People who are trafficked are often separated from their families, and sometimes unable to find them. We can help them look for their loved ones.

Our refugee support teams come across people who have been trafficked into or around the UK or are vulnerable to being trafficked. We support people with subsequent issues, as well as their need for protection and asylum.

Working with partners

We have been developing support services for survivors of trafficking since 2009.

Since 2014 we have been training our staff and volunteers to recognise and help trafficked people through the PROTECT project. This was funded through the Prevention of and Fight against Crime programme of the European Union (ISEC).

In 2016 we partnered with Forum Refugies (France) who are leading in a project called TRACKS (identification of TRafficked Asylum seeKers’ Special needs) co-funded by the European Commission. In the UK we are working closely with the Human Trafficking Foundation, UK-IMR, UNHCR, POPPY and AIRE Centre.

Specific needs

We are increasingly seeing asylum seekers who have been trafficked. Trafficking survivors should be identified as a specific, vulnerable group within the asylum process.

They should have tailored support and special measures in place to ensure that they are properly protected, supported and not re-traumatised as a result of seeking asylum. This applies to both procedures and reception conditions.

This is enshrined in the revised Reception Directive of June 2013 that came into force on 21 July 2015. While the UK is not bound to this, special conditions are commonly recognised as best practice in line with EU human rights standards.

TRACKS project: improving support

The TRACKS project aims to improve the support to trafficked asylum seekers in the asylum process (procedural and reception conditions) by:

  • researching and mapping to identify national legislation, regulations, case-law, good practice and gaps in relation to the assessment of specific needs of trafficked people in the asylum process
  • networking, collaborating and raising awareness of national stakeholders through focus groups and opportunities to discuss the complex situation
  • interviewing trafficked people to identify any special needs of those who have been through an asylum procedure
  • supporting and building the capacity of national practitioners with practical tools and capacity-building workshops.


The TRACKS project will be developing capacity-building workshops to help frontline staff adopt special measures for trafficked asylum seekers. Please contact us for more information using the email addresses below.

Contact us

For any questions related to the project you can contact:
Kathryn Baldacchino:
Barbara Joannon, who is in charge of the overall co-ordination of the TRACKS project:

Logos for all organisations in the TRACKS project

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