Unseen launches a provocative campaign to save its Modern Slavery Helpline

The Helpline has identified 15,000 victims of trafficking since 2016

modern slavery

The Helpline has identified 15,000 victims of trafficking since 2016

Anti-Slavery charity Unseen has released a provocative new campaign to prevent its Modern Slavery Helpline from being shut down.

The charity has until this Christmas to raise the £800,000 needed to secure the future of the Helpline, which is currently taking more than 250 calls a week.

The powerful #UnseenStories campaign, developed by Aesop, uses a story-within-a-story technique to expose the lies told by people to lure vulnerable people into slavery, and set them alongside words that portray the victim’s frightening reality.

One striking example shows the poetic and hopeful phrase, ‘I lost myself to the nightlife and bright lights in London’, transform into the dark, ‘I lost my life in London.’

The harrowing language is set to appear on billboards and social media in the run up to Anti-Slavery Day on Friday 18th October.

modern slavery


The real-life stories of survivors of modern slavery are also being shared on social media alongside the hashtag #UnseenStories. As well as this, people are encouraged to use this Friday as an opportunity to share solidarity with victims, by changing all social media profile pics to a fluorescent green.

In 2018 alone, Unseen identified more than 7,100 suspected victims of modern slavery across the UK using the now endangered helpline.

The funding crisis is hitting the charity at a crucial time, considering there’s been a 36% increase in the reporting of modern day slavery victims in the past year.

Andrew Wallis OBE, Chief Executive of Unseen, has said: ‘Without the Modern Slavery Helpline, thousands of men, women and children across the UK will remain enslaved and unseen.’

‘Unfortunately in our current political climate, victims of modern slavery are particularly at risk because nobody is counting them – they are unseen in every sense of the world.’

He continued: ‘We hope the #UnseenStories campaign will remind people that there are 1000s of victims of modern slavery, often hidden in plain sight, that need their help and will support us by donating and showing solidarity’

‘For thousands of people trapped in slavery, our Helpline is the only way out. If the lines go dead, hope will die with them.’

To donate to Unseen and help save the Modern Slavery Helpline go to the website or text: 70085 with HELPLINE 5 to give £5; HELPLINE 20 to give £20, etc.

Niamh McCollum

Niamh McCollum is Features Assistant at Marie Claire UK, and specialises in entertainment, female empowerment, mental health, social development and careers. Tackling both news and features, she's covered everything from the rise of feminist audio porn platforms to the latest campaigns protecting human rights.

Niamh has also contributed to our Women Who Win series by interviewing ridiculously inspiring females, including forensic scientist Ruth Morgan, Labour MP Stella Creasy and ITV’s former Home Affairs Editor Jennifer Nadel.

Niamh studied Law in Trinity College Dublin. It was after enrolling in a Law & Literature class on her year abroad in Toronto that her love of writing was reignited. In no particular order, her big likes are Caleb Followill, hoops, red wine, sea swimming, shakshuka and long train journeys.