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Home Office minister rejects plans for extra support for trafficking victims | Home Office

A Residence Workplace minister has rejected proposals in a parliamentary invoice for brand spanking new assist for victims of trafficking, a letter leaked to the Guardian reveals.

Victoria Atkins, the minister for safeguarding, outlined her opposition to the modern slavery (victim support) bill, which requires trafficking victims of all nationalities to obtain a minimal of 12 months’ entry to secure housing, assist and safety from immigration detention.

The personal member’s invoice has been tabled by Ian McColl, a Conservative life peer, and co-sponsored by Iain Duncan Smith, the previous Conservative get together chief and former work and pensions secretary.

Atkins wrote to Maya Esslemont, the director of After Exploitation, an information mapping venture monitoring outcomes for slavery survivors within the UK, final week expressing her opposition to the invoice.

The minister stated the federal government had been fastidiously contemplating the problems raised within the invoice however “doesn’t assist the … invoice in its present type. The federal government doesn’t agree that victims ought to mechanically be granted depart to stay for 12 months.”

The letter added: “The federal government doesn’t have an absolute exclusion from detention for any specific group.” It stated that if the federal government did detain victims of trafficking who have been susceptible, assessments referred to as adults in danger have been carried out and the detention was authorised by senior Residence Workplace officers. Atkins’ letter outlines a sequence of measures the Residence Workplace is taking to assist trafficking victims.

In keeping with Residence Workplace information obtained by After Exploitation by freedom of knowledge requests, 1,256 potential trafficking victims have been detained in 2019.

The personal member’s invoice, together with a letter final October signed by dozens of NGOs, requires elevated safety for trafficking victims, notably these vulnerable to deportation as a result of they don’t seem to be UK nationals.

If trafficking victims are deported, not solely are their lives probably put in danger however worthwhile intelligence about who trafficked them could possibly be misplaced.

Esslemont stated: “So as to be recognised as a survivor, victims are first referred by ‘first responders’ after which assessed through a two-stage course of typically lasting years. It’s insulting that even the place victims endure the gruelling steps requested of them, the federal government can’t meet survivors midway with extremely primary and short-term safety.

“The present system of assist and recognition is unsustainable and makes it tough for non-UK survivors to report crime as a result of risk of deportation or detention. Equally, UK survivors can’t be assured concerning the size of assist, akin to entry to secure housing, they’ll obtain if they arrive ahead. Till the federal government creates a tradition of security for these exploited, it’s unattainable to win the belief of survivors who’re rightfully terrified of in search of assist.”

Atkins stated in an announcement: “The federal government is dedicated to tackling the heinous crime of recent slavery and making certain that victims are supplied with the assist they should rebuilt their lives. Now we have already applied a lot of vital reforms to the nationwide referral mechanism aimed toward enhancing the pace, high quality and independence of the decision-making, and providing the very best assist for victims.”

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