Modern slavery is less overt than historical state-sanctioned slavery because psychological abuse is typically used to recruit and then control victims.
UK Draft Modern Slavery Bill, and current UK government anti-slavery strategy relies heavily on
shared understanding and public cooperation to tackle this crime
Yet, UK research investigating public understanding of modern slavery is elusive
We report community survey data from 682 residents of the Midlands of England, where modern slavery is known to occur, concerning their understanding of nonphysical coercion and human trafficking (one particular form of modern slavery).
Analysis of quantitative data
revealed a mismatch between theoretical frameworks and understanding of psychological coercion, and misconceptions concerning the nature of human trafficking
Many respondents did not understand psychological coercion, believed that human trafficking did not affect them, and confused trafficking with immigration.
Our findings suggest the need for strategically targeted public knowledge exchange concerning this crime
in contrast to historical slavery systems
modern day slavery is less overt, typically with no obvious visible signs of restraint.
Rather, psychological abuse, coercion and mental manipulation play a powerful role in forcing modern day slaves to work in a variety of industries [3, 4].
Psychological abuse and coercion are easier to conceal than more physical forms of restraint and control and so modern slavery represents significant challenges in terms of both recognition and prevention.
Over the past few years, prompted in part by the draft Modern Slavery bill ,
here have been a number of high profile calls for the UK public to ‘open their eyes and ears’ and assist the authorities in combating one form of modern slavery, namely human trafficking [6–8]
Human trafficking involves the illegal trade of men, women and children into conditions of exploitation for commercial gain, using deception, psychological coercion, the abuse of power, and/or the abuse of vulnerability .
recognising, reporting, preventing, and collecting data on human trafficking remains stubbornly challenging, and so precise trafficking statistics remain elusive
tens of thousands of people become victims each year, that trafficking is a very profitable form of transnational crime [11–14]and that the numbers of people being trafficked is increasing and are expected to continue to grow [9, 15, 16]
The UK government’s Modern Slavery Strategy  aims to significantly reduce the prevalence of human trafficking by, among other things, improving awareness of the signs of human trafficking amongst the general public (p. 10). Hence, the general public is a key constituent in tackling this crime.
There numerous websites providing information about the existence and signs of human trafficking
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