Survivors, until they are granted leave to remain, live in fear. They live with the fear that they may, at any time, be returned to a country where their lives will, once again, be in danger. Living with that fear is exhausting and deeply painful for Survivors. We make sure Survivors of trafficking and torture are able to secure the international protection they deserve.
WHY DO SURVIVORS NEED LEGAL PROTECTION?
The asylum process is complex and many Survivors do not receive adequate legal advice. You have to provide extensive evidence in a long drawn out process to prove your case. Simultaneously, many elements of the process are completely unsuitable for Survivors who are struggling with fear, shame and illness. It can be overwhelming and unmanageable for those who have experienced severe violence and abuse.
WHAT’S OUR SOLUTION?
The Helen Bamber Foundation’s Legal Protection Team provide a vital link between the Survivor and their legal representative. We improve clients’ chances of receiving a positive decision often as a direct result of our Medico-Legal Reports. These reports document the long-term physical and psychological impact of traumatic experiences. The reports are then used as evidence for international protection in the UK. Our expertise in preparing them continues to be recognised by the Courts and Tribunal and by the Home Office.
We do this work because when a client receives status it is a life changing event. It means they can access mainstream services and live their life with fewer restrictions, possibly for the first time ever. Survivors can go on to access education, employment and truly begin to integrate into their communities.
OUR LEGAL PROTECTION IS CONSTANT, COMMUNICATIVE, AND VITAL
Our care and legal protection work means that Survivors receive high quality legal casework support.
We provide evidence regarding clients’ ability to disclose evidence about the harm they suffered. Our team provides emotional support for clients, which frequently includes accompanying them to court hearings. Our Medico-Legal Reports sensitively access Survivors’ physical and psychological trauma as evidence to support their claims for international protection. We exist to give our clients care and protection for their sustained recovery.
SOME FACTS ABOUT OUR LEGAL PROTECTION
In 2019 the Legal Protection Team supported 434 clients from 45 different countries during the course of the year.
in 46 cases we ensured that victims of trafficking, including Survivors of sexual or labour exploitation, were provided with Counter-Trafficking letters and statements documenting their history and circumstances to support their legal protection claim.
We provided 68 clinical letters to promote access to justice for disabled and vulnerable clients.
We accompanied more than 30 clients who were particularly vulnerable, at risk of detention, or without any other form of support, to reporting centres, hearings and Home Office interviews.
We assisted in the application of over 20 travel documents and fully completed 11 travel document applications for clients with refugee status, obtaining 10 successful applications so far. Of the 16 completed in 2018 there was a 100% success rate.
Following the provision of medico-legal reports in 2018, in 75% of cases the client was granted a form of leave to remain in the UK compared with an average of approximately 50% for claims overall.
I struggled for 13 years before I got my leave to remain. My case kept being deferred and my hearings cancelled. But then the Helen Bamber Foundation got involved, giving me legal support and a proper medical report – they even accompanied me to my hearings. Most of all they treated me with love and respect. Helen Bamber Foundation has given me a whole new life.