“40 million people globally in forced working conditions. This is modern slavery”

– Matt Friedman, CEO, Mekong Club

Tactics used to force victims into modern slavery are deception, abduction, debt, physical and emotional abuse, threats, withholding of wages, limitation of movement and use of unfavourable or illegal employment contracts.

Recruiters gain the trust of victims or their family members, then offer false promises of well-paid employment. They often offer young, vulnerable people facing hardship the chance to improve their lives and the lives of their families. In most cases, the victims have no idea of the reality that they will find themselves in.

Creating debt is a key tactic. Traffickers may charge excessive recruitment fees that require victims to borrow money, or provide cash advances to the victim or the family, which must be paid off. The victim is held until the debt is completely paid. Often the lender uses false accounting, invents additional debt, or charges excessive interest to heighten the debt and create uncertainty over the timeframe for payment. In some cases, oppressive or illegitimate contracts are used to justify forced labour. Often, these fraudulent agreements are signed by victims who can’t read or presented in a foreign language they don’t understand. Victims are told that if they leave the work for which they have signed a contract, penalties of fines will follow.

Supply Chain Slavery Tactics


A recruiter offers promises of lucrative employment, the reality of the employment terms, such as wages and working hours may be very different to those promised.

Excessive Fees

Workers may be charged fees to secure their employment, and in many cases will take out loans to cover these costs. By the time they arrive at their new job, they may find the majority of their wage must be used to repay these debts.


Threats of violence, may be used against the victims and their families, to deter victims from speaking up or attempting to escape their situation. Perpetrators may also threaten to report their victims to the authorities for things such as visa violations to further embed fear.

Affected Supply Industries



Hospitality & Services



Food Packaging
& Processing

Domestic Servitude



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