Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery

Globally, IOM implements a broad range of counter-trafficking activities in partnership with governmental institutions, NGOs and international organisations. Activities include: research, information campaigns, technical cooperation and direct assistance. Three broad principles govern all activities in the area of counter-trafficking:

  • Respect for human rights
  • Physical, mental and social well-being of the individual, their family and wider community
  • Sustainability through institutional capacity building of governments and civil society

IOM UK focuses its work on capacity building through training, raising awareness of the issue of human trafficking, and providing direct assistance to survivors of trafficking who choose to return to their home countries.

Awareness Raising Trainings

The more that people know about human trafficking, the more likely they are to be able to spot the indicators that can help identify a potential trafficking victim, and then take the appropriate action. IOM UK delivers specialist CPD accredited training sessions to frontline service providers and faith leaders who could come across potential victims of trafficking during the course of their day-to-day activities. This has included social workers, housing inspectors, the Metropolitan Police, members of the clergy, NHS and Home Office staff.

The sessions are adapted according to different requirements, however essential topics covered in each session include:

  • What is human trafficking?
  • What are the differences between trafficking and smuggling?
  • What are the indicators to look out for?
  • What should you do if you are concerned that someone has been trafficked?

If you are interested in taking part in this training, please contact us at

Return and Reintegration

Some survivors of human trafficking and modern slavery would like to return to their home countries. IOM UK has worked with charities, police officers and other actors to provide these individuals with an option for voluntary and dignified return through the provision of enhanced reintegration assistance.

At present, IOM UK can provide return and reintegration support to survivors of human trafficking and modern slavery from the following countries: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania. Assistance can be provided to secure travel documents, arrange and fund flights, and arrange land transportation in the country of origin. In addition, reintegration services can be provided, such as shelter, medical and psychosocial care, as well as labour market orientation. For further information, please contact or call 0207 800 6000.

International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS) 

Unethical recruitment is a serious problem requiring a global solution. In today’s labour market, intermediaries play an important role in matching workers with jobs and ensuring the continued prosperity of businesses and families. But when unscrupulous intermediaries exploit job seekers the negative outcomes impact everyone. In response to this, IOM established the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS), an international voluntary “ethical recruitment” framework that will benefit all stakeholders in the labour migration process.  IRIS will provide a platform for addressing unfair recruitment and bridge international regulatory gaps governing labour recruitment in countries of origin and destination.

  • IRIS aims to create a public-private alliance of like-minded governments, employers, recruiters and other partners committed to ethical recruitment.

  • IRIS will develop a voluntary accreditation framework so that its members can be recognized as bona fide fair recruiters and distinguish themselves from unscrupulous intermediaries. Accreditation will be based on adherence to common principles for ethical recruitment and a code of conduct.

  • Job seekers will have better information regarding ethical recruitment though an information portal and publicly available roster of accredited IRIS members internationally

  • IRIS will administer a complaints and referral mechanism to assist victims of unethical or illegal recruiters to file grievances with the appropriate authorities.

  Visit the IRIS website here to learn more and join the alliance.