There has been a 300% increase in the number of victims of modern slavery referred for support in the past six years, and a huge increase in the number of men from Vietnam trafficked to work in illegal cannabis farms.
Almost half (48%) of those referred to the government programme were brought to the UK for sexual exploitation, 39% were trafficked for labour exploitation and 13% for domestic servitude, according to figures released by the Salvation Army.
The charity, which is contracted by the government to deliver all support services for adult victims of slavery in England and Wales, also revealed that one person was trafficked for organ removal.
The rise in the number of referrals, from 378 in 2011 to 1,554 last year, is a reflection both of the growth in numbers of modern slaves in the UK, but also a reflection of improved identification of victims, the charity said. The service also reported an increase in the number of people trafficked from China, India and Pakistan.
The highest number of victims overall came from Albania, with 359 referrals, 346 of whom were women trafficked for sexual exploitation. But the most striking rise in referrals was the increase in the number of men from Vietnam. Last year, the Salvation Army helped 101 men from Vietnam, double the number it registered in 2015.
The charity’s annual report highlights the case of one young man whose mother sold the family home for £10,000 so he could travel to the UK...