Human Trafficking Foundation Newsletter May 2020

Advisory Forum Newsletter

This newsletter is an opportunity for Human Trafficking Foundation (HTF) Forum members to publicise events, projects, research, campaigns and job opportunities.
A note on temporary changes to HTF in light of the current outbreak is available here.
Our Covid-19 resources webpage will continue to be updated to support organisations in managing new challenges arising from the pandemic.

To share information for the webpage or newsletter, please contact [email protected]

HTF Covid-19 online forum minutes and agenda

Thank you to all who attended our forum on the 7 May. Please see minutes attached.

We look forward to welcoming many of you to our next online forum on Thursday 21 May 2pm-4pm where we will hear from the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, support providers, those with direct experience of human trafficking and others to discuss the impact of Covid-19 on survivors and ongoing work to respond to modern slavery in the UK.

Zoom dial-in details are included on the Eventbrite order confirmation. Please register here.
Please see agenda attached.
For further information, please email [email protected] 

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  

How to direct questions to the Home Office

The Home Office Modern Slavery Unit (MSU) has asked that all questions and concerns relating to victim support policy and Covid-19 are collated by HTF and Anti-Slavery International. Questions are recorded and responses are tracked on two shared Google documents, available to view here.

The MSU will review questions weekly to support their understanding of the situation ‘on the ground’ and will seek to answer questions via their weekly newsletter, to which you can sign up here
Questions will also be shared with The Salvation Army as VCC Prime contractor.

We encourage you to share any questions relating to challenges you are facing with [email protected] and [email protected], who will add them to the document for MSU to review.

IASC letter to the immigration minister: ODW visas and information sessions

On 7 January 2020, Dame Sara Thornton wrote to the Immigration Minister Kevin Foster MP and has since had a follow up meeting where the lack of progress on the recommendations made by James Ewin’s 2015 independent review of the Overseas Domestic Worker Visa was discussed. The Minister has agreed to provide a structured response on these matters, which will be published on the IASC website when available.

A Survivor’s Guide to Publishing Your Story: A free workshop for survivors

Date: Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Time: 1:00 – 2:00 pm (EST)

Trafficking survivors often ask how they can publish a book. This FREE workshop for survivors is an opportunity to gain tools on publishing your own story. Survivors will learn from Nekisha Pickney, a published author, on how to work with publishers, how to identify a target audience, and how to maintain control of your literary rights. You don’t want to miss this informative session!
Click here to register

Freedom United: ‘Exposing the Hidden Victims of COVID-19’

Freedom United have assessed how the issues they are campaigning for are affected by the pandemic and produced the attached brief, also available at https://www.freedomunited.org/covid-19/ .
It draws on many of the great reports recently published and covers the following:

  • Domestic servitude
  • Forced marriage
  • Homelessness and modern slavery
  • Modern slavery in prisons and detention centres
  • Migrant workers
  • Modern slavery recovery

Vietnam: Returned victims of trafficking
Issues affecting the likelihood of re-trafficking

This report from the Asylum Research Centre presents Country of Origin Information (COI) on the situation faced by Vietnamese victims of trafficking returned to Vietnam, with a particular focus on those returned from the UK. The COI desk-based research for this report focused on a wide range of sources published between 16 December 2014 and 20 April 2020, whereby more recent sources of information were included to ensure the report is as current as possible.
See report here.

Walk Free: Protecting People in a Pandemic

Walk Free calls on businesses and government leaders to act urgently and collaboratively to address risks to vulnerable workers and protect lives. The report outlines key risks for vulnerable workers and guidance for businesses and government on how to protect workers. See the report here .

Countering online child sexual exploitation and abuse during the coronoavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

The Minister of State for Security, James Brokenshire, wrote to partners in the technology sector to support a campaign to help keep children safe in this rapidly changing environment. He also asked that they share key trends and insights that they are seeing at this time, as well as the safeguards and protective measures they are putting in place. See note here.

Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre call for research proposals

The Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre (the Modern Slavery PEC) has issued its first two pre-calls for research proposals focused on the impact of COVID-19 on modern slavery practices, and on survivor support and recovery.
Further information on the call requirements, eligibility, and how to apply can be found on the Arts and Humanities Research Councilwebsite.

The call for survivor recovery research will open from 18th May 2020.
The call for the impact of COVID 19 research call will open on the 1st June 2020.

Hestia free online training for local authorities

Hestia housing and support with funding from MCHLG are hosting a free online Modern Slavery and Homelessness training.
The training is aimed at local Authority frontline staff working within homelessness.
We have three available training days:

  • 2nd of June
  • 16th of June
  • 18th of June

The training will run from 10am – 14.30 with a one hour lunch break. The training will be delivered over Zoom.
If you are interested in attending the training please contact [email protected]
Further information, including learning objectives, attached.

Article: UK gangs could recruit more child drug mules as lockdown lifts

(Thomson Reuters Foundation)
Extract: Criminal gangs that use young people to sell drugs across Britain could recruit more out-of-school children as the country’s coronavirus lockdown eases, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said, also warning of a spike in online child sex abuse.

As lockdowns lift globally and several countries consider reopening borders, criminals will likely ramp up efforts to import drugs into Britain to replenish their depleted stocks, said Nikki Holland, the agency’s director of investigations…
See full article on the Thomson Reuters Foundation website.

The National Lottery Covid-19 Community Fund

The National Lottery Community Fund is making grants up to and over £10,000 and will prioritise:

  • Organisations supporting people who are at high risk from COVID-19
  • Organisations supporting people most likely to face increased demand and challenges as a result of the COVID-19 crisis
  • Organisations which connect communities and support communities to work together to respond to COVID-19.

Access their webpage for more details and how to apply.

Barclays’ 100×100 UK COVID-19 Community Relief Programme

Through Barclays’ 100×100 UK COVID-19 Community Relief Programme, we are making 100 donations of £100,000 each to UK charities working to support vulnerable communities impacted by COVID-19, and the associated social and economic hardship caused by the crisis – a £10m commitment from our Charity Partners Programme. The programme will focus on supporting charity partners who are meeting the immediate needs of people in our communities, including low income families, those facing financial hardship, isolated elderly people and key workers.

UK registered charities are invited to apply for a donation to support their relief work by the closing date of Friday 22 May, 2020. To apply for funding please use this link
Note: Only charities with an annual income of >£1m are eligible

Professor Gary Craig Email Change

Professor Gary Craig, professor of social justice and coordinator of the Modern Slavery Research Consortium Google Group, where he produces regular briefings on modern slavery and shares useful updates has changed his email address to [email protected] 

Vacancy: Advice and Advocacy Coordinator, West Midlands Anti-Slavery Network

West Midlands Anti-Slavery Network are recruiting for a rewarding and engaging Advice and Advocacy Coordinator (Male survivors) role.
Job advert available here
Closing date: 18 May

The Children’s Society Prevention Programme Vacancies

The Children’s Society are recruiting for three roles within their Prevention Programme:
1. Prevention Officer, deadline 22 May, further information here
2. Senior Prevention Officer, deadline 22 May, further information here
3. Senior Prevention Officer to work within the British Transport Police, deadline 3 June, further information 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 is available on our website
To apply, please read the guidelines and complete information on the attached form.

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 contactrachel@humantraffickingfoundation.org to request a copy of the directory.

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.

Please note that we are not currently adding new services to the map due to members of staff being on furlough, but will still be updating services already on the map.