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Recommendations for the Modern Slavery Strategy Review

Kamena Dorling
and Rachel Witkin

HBF’s expertise is in addressing the needs of individual survivors who are trafficked from other countries or are non-British citizens who are victims of domestic trafficking. A significant part of our work aims to prevent re-trafficking and further exploitation and abuse. 

The Modern Slavery Strategy (MSS) rightly aims to take a “victim-centric approach”, described as “a  focus on preventing vulnerable children and adults from becoming victims in the first place” and “improving the proactive identification of victims and enhancing the support provided to them”. As the government reviews the MSS we urge it to more clearly recognise in the strategy that preventing individuals from becoming victims must include the prevention of re-trafficking of persons who have previously been trafficked and address aspects of the current system of identification and support provision increase the risks of re-trafficking and further forms of harm taking place. 

It is also vital that some of the concerns raised about the provisions in the Nationality & Borders Bill  are alleviated through publication of guidance that is provided in consultation and collaboration with frontline experts in the sector and we would urge the Modern Slavery Unit to consider where this may be possible as part of the strategy review.

This briefing makes recommendations on the following areas which HBF believes should be covered by the strategy: 

  • Identifying survivors of trafficking
  • ‘Reasonable grounds’ (RG) decision-making
  • Statutory guidance 
  • Access to support
  • The right to work
  • The needs of young people
  • Grants of leave to remain for conclusively recognised survivors of trafficking 
  • Building on the UK’s work with international partners