UK ministers are "clueless" about the scale of human trafficking and this problem has brought the country to a "state of crisis", according to a new report.

The study from the Centre for Social Justice reveals that more than 1,000 people were the victims of sex trafficking last year, including a significant number of British children.

The report, which will be published on Monday, also finds that 90% of police officers ignored an online educational course designed to raise awareness of modern slavery.

"Our research has uncovered a shocking underworld in which children and adults, many of them UK citizens, have been forced into lives of utter degradation" said CSJ managing director Christian Guy.

"The authorities are either failing to understand the nature of this abuse or turning a blind eye to its existence. Our once great nation of abolitionists is a shameful shadow of its former self,"

To address the problem of human trafficking, the CSJ has propounded a raft of measures including the appointment of an independent anti-slavery commissioner, and a new Act of Parliament to ensure that victims are not prosecuted for forced criminality.

The CSJ is also calling on businesses to ensure their supply and product chains are free from forced labour, as well as demanding more rigorous training of professionals - like police and social workers - to spot the signs of trafficking.

'Too afraid to run'

Speaking to the CSJ researchers, one deputy chief constable recalled the case of a girl who had managed to escape from a brothel and flee to a police station where she described how she had been trafficked.

"She had no passport. Under these confusing circumstances, we chose to arrest her for being an illegal immigrant," he said.

Sophie Hayes was 24 when she was groomed in Britain by an Albanian man who she thought was her boyfriend .

Six years ago, while on holiday in Italy, he suddenly turned on her and forced her into a life of prostitution.

In an interview with Sky News, she told of the mental turmoil she endured.

"To begin with, I tried to hold on. I would look in the mirror and just want to scream. And I'd see bruises which I'd never had before. Until one night everything changed, with one of the men that came.

"After that night, I just let go. To the point that I stopped caring. Because nothing I could do or say, no matter how many tears, how many screams, nothing would change the situation because I was too afraid to run.

"So many people would ask me: 'Why? Why would you not run away? Why would you not ask for help?' but he was the person who kept me from asking anybody to help me, knowing that my family were at risk - my younger brother could be taken.

"He'd already taken me to a lake to show me that if I did something wrong, that's where he would take me. He would put a knife to my neck, a gun in my mouth, a gun inside of me. I knew there was no boundary for him. All I was to him was money."

She has now set up the Sophie Hayes Foundation to raise awareness about human trafficking, and to support survivors.

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UK Teen 'Raped 90 Times in Two Days' by Trafficking Gang