Men account for more than two-fifths (41%) of adult victims of human trafficking in England and Wales helped by the Salvation Army, contrary to the public perception that the crime almost exclusively affects women.
The finding comes in a survey by the charity, which provides specialist support for the adult victims of trafficking on behalf of the Ministry of Justice.
The Salvation Army, which began the support service six months ago, also dealt with the first recorded case of an individual being trafficked to Britain to have their organs harvested. The case, involving an unnamed woman brought to the UK by an organised gang, is understood to be the subject of a police investigation, the Telegraph reports.
The charity’s survey found that 45% of those it supported had been forced into sexual exploitation, 43% were involved in labour exploitation and 8% were trafficked into domestic servitude.
This contradicted a survey of English and Welsh adults carried out by YouGov, which found that respondents thought 29% of all trafficked victims in England and Wales were male, and 68% of all trafficked victims were sexually exploited.