Labour shortages caused by Brexit and Covid have sparked a rise in human trafficking, a leading charity has warned.

The double whammy of the pandemic and changes to freedom of movement for workers is believed to have created a “perfect storm” for gangs.

Shan Saba, who founded Scotland Against Modern Slavery and heads an employment agency, said his firm was seeing a rise in “red flags” from applicants indicating possible forced labour.

He said: “The labour crisis is at its worst. There just aren’t the number of workers to fill vacancies so the traffickers are coming out of the woodwork.

“We are spotting more red flags of activity from criminals trying to exploit the situation.”

His warning comes as figures from charity Migrant Help show a doubling of referrals in the last two years.

The charity supports victims of slavery in Scotland and had 388 referrals in 2020-21 compared with 215 in 2018-19.

In January, it had 40 referrals compared to 24 in the same month last year.

Regional manager Stephen Newton said: “Nothing is slowing down. It is just getting busier and busier.”

Government data last week showed the number of suspected modern slavery victims across the UK has risen to its highest level in more than a decade and experts say it’s a fraction of the true numbers of victims.

Saba said it was the most extreme scarcity of workers he had experienced and not everyone is looking for the signs of trafficking among more than 3000 recruitment agencies in Scotland.

Read the full article from the Daily Record on the link below:

Source: Modern slavers cashing in on labour shortage amid rise in human trafficking

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By / Published On: March 21st, 2022 / Tags: , / Categories: News, Vulnerable Adults /

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