Homelessness organisations and anti-slavery organisations have both been aware of links between modern slavery and homelessness in the UK, yet there has been little research into how these issues overlap and impact on one another. An initial scoping exercise was, therefore, commissioned in 2016 by the UK’s Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Kevin Hyland OBE, to gain a better understanding of modern slavery within the homelessness sector. The Passage, a leading homelessness charity, was appointed to look into this issue.
Using an online survey completed by 61 organisations throughout England, two focus groups in Birmingham and London, and semi-structured interviews with various other relevant organisations, it has been found that homeless people are at risk of being exploited when they are on the streets, and victims of modern slavery are at risk of becoming homeless if no long-term support is provided to them. A set of recommendations has been developed to address some of the issues identified through this exercise in order to improve the multi-agency response to modern slavery.