Impact of Cuts in Support provided to Victims of Trafficking and Slavery
A hearing to consider whether the cuts to the financial support provided to victims of human trafficking and modern slavery are lawful is to take place on Tuesday, October 30th at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.
Lawyers acting on behalf of a vulnerable 19-year-old asylum seeker who, as a child, fled persecution in his home country before being subjected to various forms of severe exploitation at the hands of traffickers will argue that the 40% reduction in payments – from £65, down to £37.75 per week – has had a detrimental effect on his mental wellbeing.
They will also argue that the young man (referred to only as AM), is at risk of being further exploited due to the reduction in financial support and that the cuts to the financial support provided to victims of trafficking mean that The Home Office is not delivering on its commitment to support and protect victims during their “recovery and reflection’ period.
Silvia Nicolaou Garcia, Associate Solicitor in the Public Law Team at Simpson Millar Solicitors, who is representing AM, said: “During the hearing we will present evidence to demonstrate that the reduction to the subsistence payment has had a detrimental impact on our client’s general health and wellbeing and has increased his vulnerability to further exploitation. The hearing will consider whether those cuts were made lawfully, and whether the funds should be reinstated to provide AM with the necessary resources to start to recover from his experiences”.
On 4 October 2018 in a case brought by Wilson Solicitors LLP also addressing the cuts, the court was told that a victim of sex trafficking who contracted HIV as a result of her exploitation was left unable to afford the appropriate diet required by her medical treatment, and was at real risk of being re-exploited.
The government identifies and supports victims of trafficking through the National Referral Mechanism (NRM), which requires the Home Office to provide victims with support to aid recovery and house them in “safe house” accommodation if required. The support provided to victims during this period is arranged through the Victim Care Contract, currently held by the Salvation Army, which sub-contracts to 12 other charitable organisations.
The Judicial Review is scheduled to take place at the Royal Courts of Justice on Tuesday, October 30th, and is expected to last two days.
AM is represented by Ayesha Christie and Chris Buttler of Matrix Chambers, instructed by Silvia Nicolaou Garcia and Elizabeth Smith from the Public Law Team at Simpson Millar.
Another claimant, known only as K, is also represented at the hearing by Wilson Solicitors LLP.
For further information, interviews or images please contact:
Megan Morgan, MK PR Account Manager
Ashlea McConnell, MK PR Director
Simpson Millar LLP
Denise Kern 0161 876 1310