Slavery happens everyday all around us. It’s victims are either hidden or go unnoticed, but you may possibly encounter individuals who are being exploited or situations which appear suspicious. By knowing how to “spot the signs” we are empowered to take action.

Indicators that a person is a victim of exploitation

1. Appear frightened, withdrawn or exhibit signs of physical or psychological abuse e.g. anxiety, lack of memory of recent events, bruising, untreated conditions

2. Poor health and hygiene standards - may look malnourished

3. Lack of personal belongings

4. Lack of identification or identification is being withheld

5. Little or no freedom of movement

6. Lack of trust

7. Appear to be controlled by someone/being spoken for/signs of dependence on another

8. Lack of earnings or access to earnings - wages are withheld.

9. Excessive work hours/few breaks

10. May be collected and dropped off for work in the same vehicle at unusual times, for example very early mornings or late at night

11. Travel is paid for by someone else

12. Are regularly moved to avoid detection

13. Fear of police/authorities

14. Sleeping at the same location as their workplace

15. May be foreign and unfamiliar with the language

16. Afraid to give any details of their situation



1. Multiple cars parked outside properties late at night

2. Multiple visitors coming and going from residential properties, particularly at night

3. Mobile car washes - multiple people cleaning cars at very cheap prices. Appear to be living on site

4. Residential housing and hotels used as brothels

5. Curtains permanently drawn/windows boarded up

6. Strong smells coming from property

7. Concerning noises coming from the property at unusual hours

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Exploitation is happening in many different settings, including:

  • Agriculture - farming, logging, mining, fishing

  • Car washes

  • Factories - textiles, carpet looms

  • Construction

  • Hotel/restaurants - maids, dishwashers, janitors, gardeners

  • Streets - begging, windscreen washing, selling toys/tissues/roses/etc

  • Tourist locations

  • Residential areas

  • Public/residential brothels

  • Strip clubs

  • Massage parlour

  • Escort agencies and gentlemen’s clubs

  • Pornography

  • Dating and other online advertisement

  • Nail bars

  • Street Prostitution

  • Large sporting events