Research and data

Immigration detention: Survivors behind bars

Data obtained from the Home Office, via Freedom of Information (FOI) by After Exploitation and Women for Refugee Women, illustrates continued, wide-scale detention of potential and recognised trafficking victims in prison-like settings.

Since 1st January 2019 – 30th September 2020, the Home Office detained:

  • 2,914 potential victims, who have a right to “assistance and support” under the Modern Slavery Act 2015
  • 658 women and 3,444 men with trafficking indicators* in total
  • 194 confirmed victims of trafficking. After Exploitation extrapolate that an additional 1,457 potential victims detained in this period will later be confirmed as survivors (based on the current acceptance rate of 50%)

Data Transparency: Hidden Futures (How data denial threatens the fight against slavery)

new report by After Exploitation highlights the “routine” denial and suppression of modern slavery data by Government.

Hidden Futures: How Data Denial Threatens the Fight Against Slavery highlights how repeated refusals to share data on the UK’s slavery response has allowed the detention and deportation of trafficking victims to continue without political challenge.

Drawing on a catalogue of more than 100 Freedom of Information requests, After Exploitation details how Government has detained at least 373 confirmed and 2,580 potential trafficking victims in a three year period, whilst simultaneously denying evidence. MPs were refused data on the detention of trafficking victims in nine separate Parliamentary Questions, which After Exploitation was later able to obtain via Freedom of Information (FOI) requests.

Voluntary returns: Rights interrupted

New data released by After Exploitation on 22 August, shows that more than half (53%) of potential trafficking victims of trafficking “voluntarily” leaving the UK did so after being detained.

ECPAT (Every Child Protected Against Trafficking), BID (Bail for Immigration Detainees) and Women for Refugee Women comment, in our short briefing, on the potential risks to trafficking victims reflected in these figures and their caseworkers’ experiences. The intentional or inadvertent role of detention in deterring potential trafficking victims from continuing claims for support is of serious concern. The press release and data is available below:

Detention and deportation: Supported or Deported?

Supported or Deported?, uses Home Office data obtained via Freedom of Information (FOIs) to understand the frequency with which trafficking and potential trafficking victims are detained or removed (voluntary and enforcedly) from the UK.