• Domestic Servitude

Domestic Servitude

Domestic servitude and spotting the signs.

Domestic servitude typically involves victims working in a private family home where they are ill-treated, humiliated, subjected to unbearable conditions or working hours and made to work for little or no pay.

You can see the videos below, as well as further information on the signs and indicators of domestic servitude for organisations that can support victims and bring offenders to justice below.






Signs and indicators

Domestic servitude is a form of trafficking in human beings which is extremely difficult to detect because the work is performed in private residences as seemingly normal practice, that is used as cover for the exploitation and control of someone for example, nannies or other domestic help, but the moment their employment arrangement transitions into a situation whereby they cannot leave on their own free will, it becomes a case of enslavement.

It is a type of forced labour whereby the victim is usually expected to work around a person’s home every day and be ‘on call’ 24 hours a day

Victims can be a spouse, partner, child, family member, male, female, young or old, UK national, Foreign National.

  • No independent income or access to ID documents.
  • Accompanied when outside the house - Little independence.
  • Showing signs of trauma - Physical and emotional.
  • Completing all of the household chores, often for several family members and unable to refuse - Being “on call” 24/7 - Could range from household chores to caring for family members.
  • Not eating with the rest of the family and not having the same quantity or quality of food - Show signs of being malnourished.
  • Not allowed unsupervised contact with own family members or friends.
  • Restricted access to bathroom or to other areas of the house.
  • Not allowed to seek independent medical treatment (or family accompany as ‘interpreter’) - Could show signs of untreated injuries - Have no bedroom or bed - Could be a very small room or even cupboard space, could sleep on the floor with only a blanket - Have no privacy.
  • In spousal exploitation cases - husband can openly have a relationship with a girlfriend.
  • Conditioned not to engage with the authorities - Fearful of the authorities

Support organisations

Modern Slavery Helpline
Phone: 08000 121 700
Website: https://www.modernslaveryhelpline.org(Opens in a New Window).

Phone: 0800 555 111
Website: https://crimestoppers-uk.org(Opens in a New Window).