Human Trafficking Foundation Newsletter June 2020

New legal aid rules threaten to decimate access to justice for survivors – please help and complete this 5-minute survey

Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL) is campaigning to stop the new legal aid rules that threaten access to justice for slavery survivors. Under the new rules, many legal aid immigration representatives will not be able to afford to take on complex trafficking cases, meaning our client group will struggle even more to get representation.

You can find out more information about the impact of the rules to trafficking victims here and by watching this short clip.

YLAL needs input from case workers to highlight access to justice issues for survivors. Please complete this short survey.

All answers will be anonymised. The survey will close at 6PM Wednesday 17 June 2020.

Tweet/write to your MP asking them to support the fatal motion to stop the rules: Hi xxx, Please support the prayer against new legal aid rules that would decimate access to justice for asylum seekers and migrants @YLALawyers #APrayerForLegalAid https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/57061/legal-aid-and-advice

HTF Covid-19 online forum 18 June

We will be holding our next online forum on Thursday 18 June 2pm-4pm, and will be welcoming experts to share information about the continued impact of Covid-19 on their work with survivors, as well as considering how to prepare for and adapt to the ‘new normal’. Confirmed speakers include Kalayaan, the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, FLEX, the Home Office, Stronger Together and Justice and Care.

To access the Zoom conference details, please register on Eventbrite using this link. Dial-in details will be provided in your order confirmation. Please email katy@humantraffickingfoundation.org with any questions about the forum.

Questions for speakers
Please share any questions known in advance to phil@humantraffickingfoundation.org. There will also be the opportunity to raise questions during the forum.

The Home Office will not be taking questions, but will be using the forum to aid its understanding of issues facing survivors and services during this time.

Victim Support MSSIG Information-Gathering 

The MSSIG (Modern Slavery Strategy Implementation Group) Victim Support sub-group have been submitting questions to the Modern Slavery Unit (MSU) in the Home Office to support their understanding of the impact of the pandemic on survivors and support providers.

The MSU policy team has been reviewing the questions and where possible has been sharing responses in their newsletter. Questions submitted and any answers provided have been recorded on two documents found here.

Please contact a.sereni@antislavery.org and/or rachel@humantraffickingfoundation.org if you would like to raise any additional questions for the Home Office Modern Slavery Unit to consider.

Anti-Trafficking Covid-19 Google group

HTF’s email platform to support the anti-trafficking sector’s response to Covid-19 provides a shared forum to ask questions and share examples of best practice, resources, updates, etc. with one another.
To access the platform, please subscribe by entering your email address using the following link:
https://groups.google.com/a/humantraffickingfoundation.org/group/covid-19/subscribe  

APPG Covid-19 inquiry

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery conducted a rapid inquiry to better understand how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the picture of modern slavery in the UK and the experiences of survivors and support services. You can read the recommendations and evidence submitted here.

Guidance on protecting workers during Covid-19
The Ethical Trading Initiative and FairWear have jointly published a discussion sheet and checklist on how to implement occupational health and safety measures to protect workers during Covid-19 here.
Briefing: Covid-19 and People on the Move
This paper published by the United Nations highlights how the pandemic has exacerbated the pre-existing vulnerabilities of migrants and identifies three interlocking crises: health, socio-economic and protection. Read here.
Free online training from Homeless Link: Mental health first aid

Homeless Link have been working in partnership with Mental Health First Aid England and the NHS Homelessness Response Team to develop a short online Mental Health First Aid course for hotel staff and volunteers who are hosting people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. These sessions aim to provide an introduction to mental health first aid, as well as practical advice for supporting yourselves and others during this difficult time.

This is applicable to those supporting survivors who may be homeless or have unstable housing and is a free webinar plus free to download after the event. Register here.

Call for research proposals: the impact of COVID-19 on modern slavery
The Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre invites proposals for research to improve understanding of the effects of the pandemic on behaviours, systems and structures associated with modern slavery and to propose actions to address the issues. View here.
Key Covid-19 information videos for migrants

Doctors of the World have created these informative videos on Covid-19 for migrants in the UK. Available in Bengali, Bulgarian, English, Kurdish Sorani, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, Turkish and Vietnamese here.

Black Lives Matter and the anti-trafficking sector

Please read this statement published by the UK BME Anti-Slavery Network on diversity and inclusion in the anti-trafficking sector. This time is an important opportunity for the sector to consider its own inequalities and to work together to address these.

Legal case confirms survivors can re-enter the NRM after exiting with a positive CG

This case provides confirmation that survivors of trafficking who have a positive CG and previously left NRM support are entitled to request reinstatement of support where the need arises. It also demonstrates that victims of trafficking with a positive CG who have left NRM support, but are still awaiting a decision on their discretionary leave application, are eligible to have NRM support reinstated when they have unmet support needs. Read about the case here.

Contacting the Salvation Army Modern Slavery Team

To ensure your query reaches the correct team, you can contact the following mailboxes. Please note that the written consent of the client will be required to discuss a specific case.

•    New NRM Referrals should be sent to MSTReferrals@salvationarmy.org.uk

•    Queries relating to existing clients who are currently receiving support through the Victim Care Contract should be sent to MSTSupport@salvationarmy.org.uk

•    Requests or queries relating to challenging an NRM decision should be sent to NRMReconsideration@salvationarmy.org.uk

•    Requests or queries relating to new or outstanding legal cases relating to support provided by the Victim Care Contract, including Pre-Action Letters or submission of court documents, should be sent to MSTClientLegal@salvationarmy.org.uk

•    Requests for data or Subject Access Requests should be sent to MSTSAR@salvationarmy.org.uk

•    Complaints in relation to all aspects of the Adult Victim Care Contract should be sent to MSTComplaints@salvationarmy.org.uk

Crimestoppers statement and guidance on Modern Slavery
Read the statement and guidance published by Crimestoppers here.
Report: Improving our response to modern slavery and exploitation – supporting Chinese women

This report discusses the experiences of three NGOs – Caritas Bakhita House, Rahab and Tamar – to explore:

  • the role of fraudulent travel agencies, which often trap people into debt they can’t pay off
  • complications with translation and the importance of professional interpreters
  • the barriers which stop someone asking for help.

Read the full report here.

ECPAT UK and Noort Filmworks campaign on child trafficking

Noort Filmworks are creating a hard-hitting short film about Jacob – a 17-year old victim of trafficking, who is trying to get official status. Their aim is to help an international audience become aware of what is happening to too many children. They would also like to encourage their audience to sign various petitions, one of them from ECPAT UK which calls on the Government to give trafficked children their futures back.

To support them and find more information please go to their crowdfunding campaign.

Vacancy: Female Support Caseworker

Adavu are recruiting a part-time female Support Caseworker to support adult survivors of modern slavery across the West Midlands. Apply by Monday 29th June here.

Survivor Support Emergency Fund

The Human Trafficking Foundation established the fund with a grant from the Vandervell Foundation. We supplement this with funding from other supporters.

The fund is available to help survivors of human trafficking and modern slavery with small one-off grants to meet their immediate needs when no other sources of funding are available. Further information including how to apply is available on our website.

HTF: Mapping Survivor Support Services

Our map of UK survivor support services aims to be a useful tool for people working with survivors to see what services are available in their area. View the map here.

If your organisation provides support of any kind to survivors of trafficking and would like to be added to the map, please complete the surveys which relate to your organisation’s work: Accommodation, Post-Identification Casework, Outreach Support and/or Individual Advocacy, Drop-in Services, Legal Advice – Legal Aid, Legal Advice – Non-Legal Aid, Specialist Psychological or Therapeutic Support, and Vocational Training or Education.

Please email katy@humantraffickingfoundation.orgfor further information.

London Modern Slavery SPOC Directory 2019-2020

The Human Trafficking Foundation has been working with local authorities in the Greater London area to support the development of their response to modern slavery and human trafficking.

As part of this, we produce an annual directory of modern slavery Single Points of Contact/Champions in statutory authorities across London including representatives within the NHS, police and local authorities. The updated 2019-2020 directory is now available. Please contact rachel@humantraffickingfoundation.org to request a copy of the directory.