SEFTON SCP Safeguarding Policies and Procedures Online Manual

    Indicators of trafficking/modern slavery

    Last updated 23/09/2021

    This section tells Competent Authority staff about the behaviours a victim may demonstrate, to help them consider a potential victim’s case.

    Victims may:

    • be reluctant to come forward with information
    • not recognise themselves as having been trafficked or enslaved
    • may tell their stories with obvious errors

    It is not uncommon for traffickers or modern slavery facilitators to provide stories for victims to tell if approached by the authorities. Errors or lack of reality may therefore be because their initial stories are composed by others and learnt.

    Victims’ early accounts may also be affected by the impact of trauma. In particular, victims may experience post traumatic stress disorder, which can result in symptoms of:

    • hostility
    • aggression
    • difficulty in recalling details or entire episodes
    • difficulty concentrating

    Child victims may find it hard to disclose information, as the traffickers or modern slavery facilitators may have given them inaccurate information about the role of authorities, and they may have had bad experiences with corrupt authorities in their home country or during their journey.

    See Victims of modern slavery – guidance for frontline staff for more information on:

    • why victims may be reluctant to disclose information/don’t self identify
    • obstacles to victims coming forward
    • victims’ willingness to co-operate