I’m sure like many of you, we like to think such archaic and horrible practices like slavery are a thing of the past. That there is no way people could be that low to enslave other human beings. Well, sadly, you’d be wrong.

Yesterday, as some of you may know was National Anti-Slavery day. A day where we look at the effects and the real-world ramifications of slavery and how it still has a foothold in the UK to this very day.

Northumbria Police is backing the cause, to help raise awareness of an issue that could affect tens of thousands in the UK. The service also wants to highlight the issue of human trafficking and modern slavery, keeping people informed about the ongoing work the police force does, to target those who would traffic or enslave people in modern day Britain.

According to the Cooperative, one in four victims are children, with 34% of victims being re-trafficked. Slavery preys upon the most vulnerable men, women and children in our society, trapping them in things like crime, domestic slavery or forced labour and the sex trade. To think this happens in 2017, is abhorrent, to say the least. Companies like Co-op offer the survivors of modern slavery paid work placements and promise a job at the end if things go well. They are the first major UK business to do this.

According to the National Crime Agency, there were 1090 referrals for potential victims from the months of April to June, with a 50/50 split of male and female victims. 40% of these referrals were minors. It’s still an issue and one that needs to be tackled head-on.

There are many helplines and charities you can go to for help and for information on how to spot signs of modern slavery. For more information, check the Salvation Army web page and the Anti-Slavery Day website. There is the Modern Slavery Helpline, which is available 24/7, on 08000 121 700, to report anything you could suspect as slavery.

Plus, there will always be the police or other authorities you can report to.