SOCA report on human trafficking in Great Britain

Published Publication date 09.09.2013

In August 2013 the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) in Great Britain published the report entitled: ‘UKHTC: A Strategic Assessment on the Nature and Scale of Human Trafficking in 2012’, exploring the number of potential victims of trafficking identified, their country of origin and exploitation types. According to the given assessment, Poland is on the second place among the 78 recorded countries of origin.

  • SOCA report
    SOCA report

The report based on the data received by United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC), 2255 potential victims of human trafficking were encountered in 2012. This represents an increase of 178 (9%) compared to those reported in 2011. Of these 2255 potential victims, 1607 (71%) were adults, 549 (24%) were children and the age of 99 potential victims was unknown. Other data sheets shows that 1246 victims (55%) were female, 910 (40%) were male and the gender of 95 (5%) of potential victims was unknown.

The five most prevalent countries of origin of potential victims of trafficking were Romania, Poland, Nigeria, Vietnam and Hungary. For those reporting exploitation as a minor it was Vietnam, Nigeria, Slovakia, Romania and the UK.

It is possible that the number of victims of human trafficking may be higher than this. Some people who have been trafficked may not consider themselves to have been exploited. This may be as a consequence of cultural values, work ethics and levels of remuneration within their home country.

Taking into account situation of Polish victims in Great Britain it is worth to underline, that comparing to 2011 there was a 48% increase of potential victims. Most of them – 135 people – were reported to have been trafficked for benefit exploitation. Many potential victims had passports, identity documents and, in the case of those subjected to labour exploitation or benefit exploitation, banking documents removed by traffickers, thereby increasing their vulnerability and possibly steering victims towards survival offending. This term refers to a situation in which people don’t have enough money to buy food or other basic necessities and so end up stealing such items.

In some cases of benefit exploitation of Polish males, potential victims reported having been recruited by responding to job adverts offering factory work in England which were placed on Polish websites. On arrival in the UK, no work was provided and potential victims’ identification details were used to claim benefits. All money received was withheld by traffickers.

Moreover, victims identified as Polish nationals were subjected to labour or sexual exploitation. The most prevelant subtype of labour exploitation reported was paving and tarmacking were potential victims stated they had been trafficked by members of the UK Traveller community. Other victims trafficked to forced labour  – especially male victims – were exploited mainly in the food processing industry, agriculture, factories and the maritime sector.

Some Polish males who had been subjected to labour exploitation stated they had been offered a package deal on recruitment of transportation to the UK, accommodation and full time employment in the UK. On arrival, these males were placed in substandard accommodation, paid a low wage and charged high living costs. In the case of those trafficked for labour exploitation in the block paving and tarmacking industry by UK Travellers, potential victims were often homeless and were recruited at homeless shelters and other such locations frequented by homeless people.


To get more information, go to the report of SOCA published on it’s official website: http://www.soca.gov.uk/news/608-human-trafficking-assessment-published

Tags: forced labour, SOCA, Great Britain, criminal expolitation, Poland