May 5, 2024

‘Forced surrogacy’ reported in the UK 

A British charity working with victims of modern slavery has reported that it had received three reports of “forced surrogacy” for the first time. 

Unseen said that calls to its anti-slavery hotline in 2023 had reached a record high – 11,700 contacts. . The number of potential victims in the care sector had risen by nearly one-third. 

Unseen has defined “forced surrogacy” as forcing or coercing a woman into carrying a pregnancy for another individual.

“Criminals are finding new and shockingly ruthless ways to exploit victims,” said the Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Eleanor Lyons. “Alarmingly, for the first time we have seen cases of forced surrogacy being reported.”

No details were released, for fear of identifying trafficking victims. 

In 2023 Unseen noted three emerging kinds of modern slavery – surrogacy, organ harvesting, and scamming. Although the numbers were small, they were described as “worrying”. Most slavery involves labour, sexual, or criminal exploitation.