In the UK, labour exploitation is most common in construction, agriculture, car washes, nail bars, hospitality and factories.
Migrant workers are often victims of forced labour and labour trafficking, particularly in the seasonal labour market when there is high demand for short term workers. They can be particularly susceptible because they need work to survive, they trust fellow countrymen who make false promises, they may be dependent on others because of limited language skills or may expect to pay for work because that would be normal in their own country.
Victims of forced labour are made to work long hours, often in hard conditions, without relevant training and equipment. They are forced to hand over the majority, if not all, of their wages to their exploiters. In many cases victims are subjected to verbal threats or violence and often large numbers of people are kept in the same house in horrific conditions.
Cases of labour exploitation have been widely reported in car washes and nail bars, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. Victims have been found in the manufacturing, agriculture, entertainment, hospitality and construction industries.
Labour exploitation can also include criminal exploitation, where victims are forced to commit crimes. For example where they are forced to pickpocket, or made to work on a cannabis farm, tending the plants.