Evidence to the Home Affairs Committee Inquiry on Human Trafficking
HBF works to prevent the re-trafficking and further exploitation of survivors, with each department working collaboratively to identify and reduce potential risks for our clients. This includes using trauma-informed methods of working to establish and maintain a professional relationship of trust, conducting a specialist trafficking assessment and evaluating needs and risks on an on-going basis. We take steps to reduce pre-existing and arising risks through, for example, ensuring a person is receiving quality legal advice to give the best possible chance of a grant of leave to remain or ensuring they have access to appropriate housing and can move from accommodation with known risk factors (for example, so-called ‘hotels’)). Our multi-disciplinary clinical team seeks to address the physical and mental health problems that our clients are experiencing via medical advice and specialist trauma-focused therapeutic care. We also offer community, education and integration activities and a social support network to aid individual recovery, wellbeing and independence.
While organisations like HBF do everything they can to fill the gaps left by state support, it is only with substantial systemic change that the UK will be able to tackle modern slavery/human trafficking. It is only by ensuring that survivors are identified and supported properly that we can break cycles of re-exploitation and crime against survivors. Individual support and access to services is essential if victims of trafficking are to be confident enough to provide evidence to police; help to dismantle criminal slavery networks and prevent more people from becoming victims. This requires a focus on the prevention of re-trafficking as a core part of any modern slavery strategy. It requires efforts to ensure that asylum and trafficking systems function properly and without delay, treating all those within them fairly and humanely, providing long-term support and protection.
This submission to the Home Affairs Committee outlines the systemic change required to reduce the risk of survivors of trafficking who have come to the UK from abroad being subject to further exploitation or re-trafficking.
We also submitted evidence on behalf of the Taskforce on Victims of Human Trafficking in Immigration Detention, looking at the detention of survivors of trafficking and the impact of this. It draws on the findings and recommendations made in the report ‘Abuse by the System: survivors of trafficking in immigration detention' which was authored and co-badged by members of the taskforce and was published by the Helen Bamber Foundation in October 2022