There are an estimated 136,000 people living on conditions of modern slavery un the United Kingdom (Global Slavery Index 2018). According to the 2017 annual figures provided by the National Crime Agency, 5, 145 potential victims of modern slavery were referred through the National Referral Mechanism in 2017, of whom 2,454 were female, 2688 were male and 3 were transgender, with 41% of all referrals being children at the time of exploitation. People are subjected to slavery in the UK in the form of domestic servitude, labour exploitation, organ harvesting and sexual exploitation, with the largest number of potential victims originating from Albania, China, Vietnam and Nigeria. This data however does not consider the unknown numbers of victims that are not reported. After losing his job due to his sexual orientation and the death of his mother, John fled Uganda after his family blamed him for her death. John travelled to Edinburgh with a friend who told him he could get a good job and have a better future. However, upon arrival his passport was confiscated and he was locked in a room for a month. John ran away after one of the men keeping him tried to force him to perform a sexual act. John was referred to Migrant Help who assisted in obtaining him refugee status.
There are an estimated 403,000 people living in modern slavery in the United States (GSI 2018). Sex trafficking exists throughout the country. Traffickers use violence, threats, lies, debt bondage and other forms of coercion to compel adults and children to engage in commercial sex acts against their will. The situations that sex trafficking victims face vary, many victims become romantically involved with someone who then forces them into prostitution. Others are lured with false promises of a job, and some are forced to sell sex by members of their own families. Victims of sex trafficking include both foreign nationals and US citizens, with women making up the majority of those trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation. In 2015, the most reported venues/industries for sex trafficking included commercial-front brothels, hotel/motel-based trafficking, online advertisements with unknown locations, residential brothels, and street-based sex trafficking. Chris Bates was trafficked for sex at 16 years old in the United States. He created a social media account after feeling isolated at school which drew attention from older men who offered to pay him for images of himself. After running away from home, Chris need money for rent and placed an advert with an escort agency which led to him being trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation. He was able to escape his exploitation and begin the process of healing after meeting his boyfriend. Chris tells of the struggles being a male survivor of sex trafficking and the role religion played in his trafficking story. Chris as set up a grassroots organization, Overcome Exploitation, to help male, trans, and non-binary people who have experienced any kind of exploitation.