To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department from what region of Albania the women referred to the victim support scheme operated by the Salvation Army in (a) February 2014 and (b) April 2014 came from; what evidence from cluster data she has to explain why most of them were pregnant when they were discovered in the UK; what steps she is taking to prevent access to the UK without the necessary visas by such Albanian nationals; and if she will make a statement.
The Home Office and Ministry of Justice jointly fund a national support service for adult victims of human trafficking in England and Wales. This contract is delivered by the Salvation Army. The service is open to potential adult victims of human trafficking (including those from Albania), identified through referral to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). The Salvation Army and its sub-contractors work with victims of human trafficking from the moment they are placed in support accommodation to help them consider their support needs and their plans to move on from the service.
The Home Office does not hold data on the regions that Albanian women referred to the Salvation Army are from. This information is only held within individual case records and can only be accessed through manual search. Similarly, we do not hold data on the reasons for pregnancy of women referred to the NRM. The Government recognise that effective reintegration support for victims is vital to help them move on with their lives and to prevent them from being exploited in the future. In addition, the Government are looking at what more that can be done to support victims, including supporting them to return to their home country where appropriate.
The Government are working closely with the Albanian Government to combat trafficking and support victims. In November 2013, the UK Government and the Albanian Government, working with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), established a voluntary return package for female victims of trafficking who wished to return to Albania. This package includes the provision of secure accommodation in Albania (with guards and social services on site), child care assistance where required, and training or support to establish a business or enter the labour market. This provides the support and assistance required for victims who wish to return to Albania to rebuild their lives. The Albanian Government are also putting in place comprehensive measures to tackle trafficking, such as the establishment of a National Referral Mechanism and a dedicated police unit to tackle trafficking.
Albanians are visa nationals and as such they require a visa to enter the UK for any purpose. We have Risk and Airline Liaison Overseas Network staff posted around the world to assist carriers in identifying passengers that do not have the correct documents to enter the UK. We also have Border Force staff operating UK immigration controls in France and Belgium who will refuse entry to those seeking to enter the UK without the correct documentation.