Human trafficking: support

Last updated: 27 July 2017

Human trafficking is a serious crime. It's sometimes called modern slavery.

It's when someone is recruited or bought and sold by people who intend to exploit them.

Victims can be men, women or children, of any nationality. Help is available for them.

Contacting the police

Call 999 if it's an emergency. For non-emergencies, call 101.

If you're a victim of human trafficking and you speak to the police, they will:

  • talk to you about what has happened
  • offer you protection from those that hurt you
  • start an investigation
  • keep you informed
You have the right to say if you'd like a male or female police officer to interview you.

If you don't want to contact the police

If you don't want to speak directly to the police, you can contact the Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 0121 700. Or fill out the Modern Slavery Helpline online form.

Your message will be read within 24 hours, and an advisor will decide what needs to happen next.

Find out about call charges

Your rights

You may feel scared, powerless and alone. However, help is available to you and you have a right to:

  • a minimum recovery and reflection period of 45 days, with help from support services
  • support if you decide to talk to the police
  • independent emotional, medical and practical help
  • help finding temporary safe accommodation
  • help with medical treatment
  • someone to help you cope with your experience
  • an interpreter or translator to help you communicate in English, if needed
  • protection – human trafficking is a crime and, if you chose to report it to the police, they must respond
  • independent legal advice
Non-British or European Economic Area Nationals won't be removed from the UK during the recovery and reflection period. If you're identified as a victim of trafficking, you may be considered for a temporary residence permit. If you're not British or from the European Economic Area (and don't have a right to remain in the UK) then you will be assisted to return to your home country, if it's safe to do so.

Extra support at court

If you're a victim of trafficking and you're asked to give evidence at court, you'll be entitled to use special measures like:

  • giving evidence via a live TV link
  • screens to stop you having to see someone else involved with the case
  • a supporter staying with you while you give evidence

These special measures won't be automatically available to you if you are a victim of slavery, forced or compulsory labour, or servitude. This means being forced to work for little or no pay, in conditions that mean you can't escape.

If this have happened to you, you are entitled to apply to the court for special measures.

Other support services

Community Safety Glasgow – The TARA Service
Phone: 0141 276 7724 (24 hours a day)
Provides a support service for women (over 18 years) who have been trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation. Staff can support you to report to the police or can pass on anonymised information for you.

Migrant Help
Phone: 07766 668781 (24 hours a day)
Email: mhl@migranthelpline.org
If you or someone you know has been trafficked (and they're not a woman over 18 trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation), call the Migrant Help anti-trafficking helpline for confidential help and advice. They offer support services for adult female and male victims who are over 18.

ChildLine
Phone: 0800 1111 (24 hours a day)
ChildLine is a private and confidential service for children and young people up to the age of 19. You can contact a ChildLine counsellor about anything – no problem is too big or small.

Scottish Women's Rights Centre
Helpline for across Scotland: 08088 010 789 (Every Wednesday, 1.30pm to 4.30pm)
Book an appointment in Glasgow: 0141 552 3201
Book an appointment in Hamilton: 01698 527 003
Free legal help for women affected by violence, such as domestic abuse, rape, stalking, forced marriage and human trafficking. Phone the helpline or book an appointment for one of the surgeries in Glasgow or Hamilton.

Claiming compensation

You can get information and support from Victim Support Scotland, your legal advisor, or a Citizen's Advice Bureau about any compensation you may be able to claim as a victim of human trafficking. If you have a support worker, they can help you get this advice.