Analysis: Non-EU trafficking claims rejected “five times more” than UK nationals’

New analysis by After Exploitation finds that the UK’s modern slavery framework rejects nearly five times more trafficking claims from non-European Union nationals than it does Brits. Our briefing examines the statistics, and explores the challenges facing ‘rejected’ survivors during the pandemic.

This month, a widely-reported data release by Government revealed that a staggering 10,627 potential victims of human trafficking were identified by ‘first responders’ last year. In a 12-month period, the number of human trafficking referrals doubled.

Once referred, recognition of trafficking through the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) is vital to most survivors, as it is the only route to accessing basic support such as safe housing, medical attention and, in some cases, an allowance.

After Exploitation’s analysis of the Home Office’s most recent data release shows that potential victims belonging to certain nationalities are much less likely to be recognised as survivors, and will therefore face specific challenges in accessing support. During the pandemic, these barriers could pose a serious threat to rejected victims. Our full briefing can be downloaded below.

Whilst we welcome the release of higher quality data since this project’s launch, more must be done. We still have no idea how many rejected or confirmed trafficking victims later secure immigration security. Yet, the little information we do have is enough to cause concern around objectivity in decision-making, and the impact of wider immigration policy on survivors.

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