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Welcome to the Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery Knowledge Bank: 

The Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery Knowledge Bank provides excerpts from Modern Slavery Courses and related articles, news and information. 
If you have any queries or require advice regarding ABE Practice contact us and we will do whatever we can to assist. 

The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner's Strategic Plan:  

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 introduced the role of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner. This position was first filled by Kevin Hyland, former head of the Metropolitan Police Trafficking and Exploitation Unit. Following his departure in 2018, his successor is Dame Sara Thornton. 
Download The Anti Slavery Commissioner's Annual Report for 2019 here and her Strategic Plan for 2019-21 here. 

Read the Modern Slavery Act Review in the Haughey Report  

Fiona Cunningham's Report for the Centre for Social Justice describes and makes clear that organised crime lies behind much of the modern day slave trade, and it is enabled by modern technology and modern means of travel. She lays out the need to understand organised crime groups (OCGs), how they operate and the cross over with other forms of crime. Read her fascinating report A Modern Response to Modern Slavery. 

The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Dame Sara Thornton DBE QPM. 

Find out more about the work of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner  
Trafficking of human beings and modern slavery is an area of criminality that has the highest proportion of female offenders.  
This may in some respects reflect the low cost, low risk aspects of the crime and it has been speculated that many female offenders have transitioned from the position of victim, to recruiter, trafficker, or controller. 
Before taking up his role as Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Kevin Hyland headed the Metropolitan Police Trafficking and Exploitation Unit. His revolutionary work there informed much of the development of The SIPPS. Here (see right), he describes Modern Trafficking in the context of Organised Crime. 

Terminology: For a person to be a victim of slavery, servitude, or forced/compulsory labour, where the victims have not been trafficked there must have been a service derived via the threat of penalty. "Forced or compulsory labour is all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily". Labour is the provision of any service, not just manual labour. ‘Service’ or labour includes forced labour, domestic servitude, sexual services and forced criminality. These forms of service could take place in a variety of industries or in private homes. Servitude and slavery are more serious forms of forced or compulsory labour.  (Source: Victims of Modern Slavery: Frontline Staff Guidance) 

What Constitutes an Organised Crime Group (O.C.G.)? 

UK’s Serious Crime Act 2015 defines an Organised Crime Group as thus: 
“Organised crime group” means a group that -  
(a) has as its purpose, or as one of its purposes, the carrying on of criminal activities. 
(b) consists of three or more persons who act, or agree to act, together to further that purpose. 
Trafficking and Slavery covers a broad range of criminal activity. This can be confusing when trying to describe or define a relevant OCG. The Serious Crime Act represents a valuable step forward in terms of establishing a framework for conceptualising and then responding to such a complex crime 
Concepts that have been effectively applied to groups involved in the trafficking of drugs are transferable to those that traffic and exploit human beings. Broadly, such groups can be categorised as either 'Core' or 'Hierarchical' groups.  
Core Groups 
These may be a lose network or highly organised but the nature of their criminal activity is focused upon a single main output; it lacks diversity other than with regard to protecting its core business. 
Such Organised Crime Groups are likely to have key individuals but there may be a looser network of associates, facilitators, and exploiters. Such groups are more likely to be based upon past associations; e.g. friendship networks, family and ethnicity. 
Hierarchical Groups have a more sophisticated structure with roles and responsibilities that are clearly defined and controlled through strict discipline. In the most sophisticated of such groups, the Head may be insulated by many layers that exist between them and the recruiters, transporters and end user exploiters. 
Typically, the criminal activities of a hierarchical OCG are more diverse. Consequently, human trafficking may only be one activity in which the group is engaged. Members of the organisation will have areas of specialism and may have control delegated to them in these areas, e.g. finances, logistics, intelligence, recruitment (of victims, customers, facilitators, or other traffickers). 
It may incorporate small core groups, e.g. teams that specialise in movement of people across specific borders or through certain routes and may also include individuals such as corrupt officials, politicians, licensing agents, estate and travel agents and traders etc. 
Types of OCG: The following is greatly informed by the work done by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime towards a typology of OCGs (Global Programme Against Transnational Organised Crime, 2002)
Criminal Networks 
This is a sub-type of the 'Core Group' in that it is defined by activities of key individuals whose prominence in the group is largely dependant upon their contacts and skills; e.g. a network of online child abusers in which status and prominence may be based upon an individual's technical skills (e.g. data encryption), collection of child abuse images, or willingness to abuse a child in real time fulfilling instructions by other online offenders. 
Within the network, personal loyalties and ties are more important than social or ethnic identity and the network maintains a low public profile, i.e. it is rarely known by any specific name. 
The network connections coalesce and evolve around a series of criminal projects and can easily reform or reorganise when key individuals leave the network. 
Standard Hierarchical Group 
The first sub-category of the Hierarchical Organised Crime Group; it has a single leader with a clearly defined chain of command and strict systems of internal discipline.  
The group may be known by a specific name and often have a strong social or ethnic identity. The use of violence is essential to activities and they often have clear evidence over a defined area or territory. 
Regional Hierarchical Group 
The second type of Hierarchical Organised Crime Group, these share a single leadership structure but this is at the centre rather than the head of the structure. At a regional level different parts of the OCG may have a degree of autonomy but there is a clear line of command that leads from and back to the centre. The group is engaged in multiple criminal activities and has a strong social or ethnic identity and violence is also essential to their activities. 
Clustered Hierarchical Groups 
This third sub-type consists of a number of crime groups that share a governing arrangement. The cluster has a stronger identity than any of its constituent groups which all have a degree of autonomy. The formation of the cluster is strongly linked to its social and historic context but clustered OCGs are quite uncommon. 
Whether Core Groups or Hierarchical Groups, OCGs may operate domestically but can also be transnational organizations. Even relatively small Core Groups can service a great many "customers". 
Cases of domestic servitude are often small partnerships, i.e. husband and wife who recruit a victim for domestic work. In these cases the couple may act as recruiter, trafficker/transporter, and exploiter. It would be inappropriate to identify these as examples of a core OCG perhaps, but they are engaging in a joint enterprise to exploit someone in conditions of slavery. Where an “employment agency” is procuring victims for domestic servitude they are perhaps more easily identified with a core group and possibly as a part of a criminal network. 
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