Modern Slavery Newsletter – 23rd July 2020

This newsletter provides an update on:

·    The NRM Transformation Programme

·    Independent Child Trafficking Guardians (ICTGs)

·    Financial Support

·    First Responder training


The NRM Transformation Programme

Since the National Referral Mechanism was established in 2009, there have been many significant developments including the passing of the world leading Modern Slavery Act in 2015. We are identifying more victims than ever before – and increasingly, a larger proportion of those victims are UK citizens. Since the system was designed, our understanding of modern slavery has grown, and we know more about the breadth of crimes which fall under the umbrella of modern slavery.  This has helped shape our approach, enabling us to target law enforcement activity more effectively and commission services to meet the needs of victims. Ten years on, we need to reflect and use our learning to consider how we can now best support victims in a way that is sustainable and centred on their needs.

We intend to build upon successes of recent reforms to the NRM through the establishment of an NRM Transformation Programme. This programme will make sure genuine victims have their cases settled promptly, receive support tailored to their needs, and are empowered to move on with their lives.

This is a long-term programme, and it will not interrupt the process of decision-making or the support individuals are currently receiving. We remain absolutely committed to identifying victims and supporting their recovery and will continue ensuring all victims of modern slavery continue to receive the right kind of support and are empowered to move on with their lives.

The Programme will deliver a sequence of changes under the following pillars:

·    Embedding an end-to-end needs-based approach to support

We want to ensure that the individual victim and their specific recovery needs are at the heart of the support package that we provide. Building upon the introduction of the Recovery Needs Assessment, implemented in September 2019, we want to ensure that, throughout the victim’s recovery journey, support services are driven by and flexible to recovery need from the outset.

·    Alternative models for decision making and support for adult victims

Whilst our thinking is in its early stages, we are considering what alternative delivery models might now best meet victims’ needs, enabling better integration with local services and helping victims return to society.

·    Children

We are committed to identifying and supporting child victims of modern slavery and see benefits in exploring an alternative approach to the current NRM for children.

We are still in the early stages of developing the programme, but we will be working closely with our stakeholders as we take it forward. We will provide further updates in this newsletter.

Independent Child Trafficking Guardians (ICTGs)

As part of the NRM Transformation Programme, we will be progressing the national roll out of Independent Child Trafficking Guardians (ICTGs) to additional areas. The purpose of ICTGs is to provide independent advocacy and support to all potential child victims of trafficking identified irrespective of their nationality.

Our aim is for the next phase of ICTG roll out to target the areas with the highest need. We will be reaching out to local authorities and their multi-agency safeguarding partners with the highest numbers of child victims over the coming weeks and months to seek their support for the continued roll out of ICTGs.  Their commitment to collaborate with ICTGs will be essential to a successful rollout.

An Expression of Interest (EOI) has been launched today to test interest in the market to deliver ICTGs in the additional areas. This is available through the Home Office Contracts Finder here.

An event will be held on Tuesday 4 August from 13.30 – 15.00 via Skype to discuss the EOI in more detail and answer any other questions you may have. Dial in details are available on Contracts Finder.

Financial Support

The Victim Care Contract aims to lift victims of modern slavery out of exploitation, providing them with specialist support to enable them to rebuild their lives with increased resilience against future exploitation. We want to ensure that all potential and confirmed victims of modern slavery have access to the support they need. As part of this, and as we have previously advised, the Home Office has reviewed the current financial support policy, and work is underway to implement a new policy focused on an individual’s recovery needs, which will include victims in all types of accommodation provided through the asylum support system, including those in full board asylum accommodation.

First Responder Training

Earlier this month we released an online modern slavery training module for all First Responders. The module is available on the Modern Slavery and Organised Immigration Crime (MSOIC) Unit website. We would encourage all First Responders to complete the training. We would be grateful if you could also share this information more widely to raise awareness of this module. We also ask that First Responders ensure that referrals to the NRM are submitted using the digital referral form available here.