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Modern slavery and human trafficking

Modern slavery can take place in a wide range of employment sectors, including health and social care. People using health and social care services may be victims of modern slavery or human trafficking. Health and social care organisations also have a role in identifying victims who come to them for care or treatment.

Modern slavery and human trafficking are incompatible with our values. These include being caring and acting with integrity. We fully support the government’s objective to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking. We recognize our responsibility as:

  • the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England


We are not legally obliged to publish a statement on modern slavery and human trafficking under the Modern Slavery Act (2015). But as a public sector body we must operate in ways that are compatible with the Human Rights Act (1998). These rights include the right for people to be free from slavery and forced labour under Article 4 Article 4 Human Rights Act 1998 . We also have a duty to report criminal activity.


Why modern slavery and human trafficking is relevant to CQC

  • All health and care services have a role to play in supporting victims of modern slavery and human trafficking. We check these services have systems and processes to identify abuse and safeguard people from harm. People who are enslaved or trafficked should have the same high-quality care as any other person and be protected from abuse.

  • We may find modern slavery happening in the services that we regulate or in related services. These could be recruitment agencies or contractors. We have a responsibility to protect victims and make sure that the crime is reported.

  • This is part of a complex system of support for survivors of modern slavery and human trafficking. The Salvation Army is the Prime Contractor (contract holder) responsible for delivering the MSVCC. It subcontracts 12 providers across England and Wales to provide safehouse and outreach support within the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). The NRM is the process that identifies and supports potential and confirmed adult survivors of modern slavery. We co-produced the assessment framework and inspection regime with service providers and organisations that represent survivors of modern slavery.

  • We only have the powers to inspect for this work. Providing safehouse and outreach services is not a regulated activity so we have no enforcement powers and we cannot register these service providers. However, we report back to the Home Office on the findings of our inspections. If we find a significant concern, we escalate this to the Home Office.

  • The framework for these inspections considers:

  • the five key questions asked of all providers of health and social care

  • the Slavery and Trafficking Survivor Care Standards, developed by the Human Trafficking Foundation

  • aspects of the Modern Slavery Victim Care Contract administered by the Home Office Modern Slavery Unit. These standards include how professionals should support survivors and work with referring agencies to help them.


Working with others

  • We share our concerns about modern slavery and human trafficking in a local area with partner organisations. We do this confidentially in information-sharing meetings. We make sure this will not prejudice criminal investigations, the outcome of individual cases or pose a risk to the safety of individuals.

  • We work with other national organisations that have a role in combatting modern slavery and human trafficking. We will work with the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner and the Director of Labour Market Enforcement on issues of mutual concern. These will be where we identify that this is the most effective way of delivering our responsibilities around modern slavery.


We will continue to develop our response to modern slavery and keep this statement under review.

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