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3 July 2018

Report highlights gaps in support for trafficking victims

The Centre for the Study of Modern Slavery, based in London, has released a report highlighting gaps in support – especially long-term support – for victims of human trafficking and modern slavery in the UK. 

The report is based on original research commissioned by the Human Trafficking Foundation. The research’s attempt to “understand what long term support currently exists, where the gaps are, and what additional support is required” found “gaps in knowledge and understanding amongst frontline personnel at all stages of the journey of recovery, often with severe consequences.”

The report notes that, currently, support “tends to focus on the immediate response to identified victims.” “Move-on” support recently extended to six months has been criticised for being devoled to the Home Office, notorious for “bias and extremely slow decision-making.” More generally, however, it is the entire system that is found to be “not fit for purpose.”

The report seeks to influence policy through the following key recommendations:

• Resource services to work with complexity of survivors’ needs relevant statutory and voluntary sector
• A positive Conclusive Grounds (CG) decision must carry status and resources (see Lord Mc Coll’s (Victim Support) Bill)
• Trafficking Survivor Care Standards (HTF) should be implemented as standard model of best practice and should consider introduction of independent advocates
• Statutory guidelines should be introduced and monitored and include compulsory and embedded training for all First Responders and other statutory services
• Personnel conducting CG interviews should be properly trained
• Undertake consistent monitoring of the NRM drawing on evidence based research about what works
• Document evidence of what works by conducting a cost benefit analysis to establish the social return on investment of longer-term support provision
• Consider evidence and best practice from other jurisdictions to inform changes
The full report can be read and downloaded here.