Briefing: the support system for migrant victims of human trafficking

About the Modern Slavery Act:

When the Modern Slavery Act 2015 was introduced, it was heralded by the government as a momentous piece of legislation which would “give protection to the victims who need it”. The Act introduced a reformed system for identifying, supporting and protecting victims of modern slavery or human trafficking in England and Wales. But how does that system work in practice and has it lived up to the government’s high expectations?

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Conclusion  

The Modern Slavery Act is doing little for trafficking victims. Its main purpose is the criminal aspect: the prosecution of perpetrators. Only a very small part of the legislation is dedicated to the victim.

Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill was introduced in the House of Lords in 2017 but failed to pass into law. An updated version was introduced in January 2020 and is awaiting its second reading. The Bill would help to rectify some of the issues highlighted above: it proposes access to support and assistance before a reasonable grounds decision and would allow support to continue after a conclusive grounds decision. It also clearly defines “support” and “assistance”, which the Modern Slavery Act does not.

The existing legislation’s focus on criminality is perhaps why there has been little impetus to bring about any uniformity in the way victims are referred and treated in the system, or to introduce regulations which could make the process into the place of safety it was supposed to be.

Author: Katherine Soroya. She is a Senior Immigration Caseworker at Turpin & Miller, an Oxford-based specialist immigration firm.

Bron: Freemovement, 24-8-2020.

Toelichting: Freemovement is een regelmatig verschijnende briefing over de huidige Engelse immigratiepolitiek. Dit artikel verscheen heel recent. De bevindingen van Katherine Soroya die leiden tot de conclusies die wel hier worden weergegeven, heb ik weggelaten. Dit omdat ik weet dat als je echt geinteresseerd bent, je inschrijft op deze email briefing, toch?

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