Modern Slavery and Trafficking

Modern Slavery and Trafficking

Modern slavery is one of the most horrific crimes in the 21st century.  It can include human trafficking, slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour. It can be either a local or an international issue, and involves exercising control over a vulnerable person for the purpose of exploitation, often sexual or labour exploitation.

Victims of modern slavery often do not identify themselves as such, or are unwilling to come forward to public authorities, for fear of reprisal, deportation, or of not being believed. See our blog post here, on the obligations placed on the authorities to protect victims of modern slavery.

Legal Assistance

We assist clients who have been victims of modern slavery but who have not received the help they should have had from the state. Holding the state to account in cases like this is vitally important for the individual who has been failed but can also lead to improved policies and training, which ensure that victims of modern slavery are protected and cared for better in the future.

The expertise we have at ITN Solicitors covers a range of legal areas, which allows us to provide rounded advice to clients.   Our clients benefit from the teamwork and coordination of the following departments:

The Civil Liberties and Human Rights Department can assist you in obtaining compensation against the state for failing in their positive obligations under domestic and international law to protect you as a victim of modern slavery.

The Crime Department understands that victims of modern slavery often first come in to contact with the authorities after being arrested.  Our team are trained to spot the signs of modern slavery and to assert their clients rights to protection, in the police station and the courts. 

The Family Department can assist you if the Local Authority (Social Services) become involved in relation to your children or with you if you are a child. Our team is able to provide you with advice regarding the local authority’s powers and duties, and to take steps to safe guard your (or your child’s) rights.

The Immigration Department and Public Law Department can assist you in challenging a range of public authority decisions by way of judicial review. These include challenges against negative reasonable and/or conclusive grounds decisions, non-referral into the National Referral Mechanism and the detention of victims of trafficking and torture under immigration powers.

The Immigration Department also has experience in assisting victims of modern slavery to collect evidence in support of their claim, if they have received a positive reasonable grounds decision. There are cases where the Competent Authority have concluded that the person is a victim of trafficking, but have not granted them leave to remain. A grant of Discretionary Leave to Remain is not an automatic outcome of a positive conclusive grounds decision, but instead depends on the individual’s circumstances. We can assist you in obtaining leave to remain, and in obtaining asylum where having been trafficked is the basis of your claim.

The Public Law Department also has expertise in public international law and brings challenges relating to state immunity and other cross-border trafficking issues.

Legal Aid may be available to victims of modern slavery subject to financial eligibility, in all the areas we practice in.

Notable cases:

  • Successfully applied for interim relief in judicial review proceedings concerning a negative reasonable grounds decision in respect of a victim of human trafficking and torture.  This action prevented the person’s deportation on the day of removal, and led to his release from immigration detention. 
  • Successfully challenging a CPS decision to prosecute victims of trafficking for offences committed under compulsion by their traffickers;
  • Successfully challenging a CPS decision to prosecute asylum seekers on the basis of false documentation;
  • Successfully challenging the police’s decision to disclose non-conviction information on DBS certificates relating to offences committed under compulsion by the victim’s traffickers;
  • Successfully challenging the Secretary of State for the Home Department’s negative conclusive grounds decision by way of judicial review (see SF, R (on the application of) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWHC 2705 (Admin))

Back