New Redress Scheme Announced by The Home Office to Compensate Trafficking Survivors

Eve French
Author:
Eve French
Solicitor Graduate, Public Law and Human Rights
Date:
16/03/2022

On 9 March 2022, the Home Office announced a new redress scheme to compensate victims of trafficking who did not receive financial support between 1 April 2015 and 30 November 2019.

Survivors of trafficking are entitled to receive financial support to help them with their recovery and protect them from re-exploitation.

However, many survivors did not receive any financial support between April 2015 and November 2019, including our client Emily Vaughn, a survivor of human trafficking and author of the best-selling book, Enslaved.

This underpayment was contrary to the Government’s international obligations and published policy.

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The Home Office’s Failure to Support Trafficking Survivors

We’ve been challenging the government, on Emily’s behalf, about the Home Office’s failure to set up a lawful redress scheme since August 2020.

Many trafficked individuals and domestic workers including those from Britain and the European Economic Area (EEA) received no financial support while they were in the National Referral Mechanism (‘the NRM’) between April 2015 and November 2019.

This left them at risk, unprotected and unable to make a proper recovery after their trafficking experiences. This was brought to the attention of the Home Office on numerous occasions, by Emily and others like her. However, the Home Office did not set up a scheme to provide them with back-payments like they did in K & AM v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWHC 2951 and we have been challenging that failure.

The Home Office’s new Redress Scheme

Finally, last week, the Home Office announced that they have set up a scheme that we hope will support the recovery of trafficking survivors and help them get their independence back so they can move on with their lives.

In response to the Home Office’s announcement to set up the scheme, our client Emily Vaughn said:

After two years of continually fighting and being re-traumatised by the Home Office, it is pleasing to see that they are finally doing the right thing.”  

Our next step is to monitor the scheme closely to check that it operates effectively and lawfully in practice.

Are You a Trafficking Survivor That Didn’t Receive Financial Support?

Please get in touch with our team of Public Law Solicitors if you’d like to request a back-payment or if you’d like help to challenge a back-payment refusal.

Please also get in touch if you, or someone you know, has become ineligible for legal aid because they have received an NRM back-payment and exceeded the legal aid eligibility threshold as a result. We can help you with this.  

How to Apply for a Back-Payment

To apply for a back-payment, you can email the Home Office or apply here.

Emily Vaughn was represented by Shu Shin Luh from Doughty Street Chambers, instructed by Eve French, Elizabeth Smith and Silvia Nicolaou Garcia from Simpson Millar’s Public Law Team.

 

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