Asylum: Human Trafficking

Home Office written question – answered on 23rd November 2018.

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Photo of Alex Norris Alex Norris Labour/Co-operative, Nottingham North

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the High Court Judgement K & Anor, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department of 8 November 2018, how the back payments to victims of trafficking will be made; who will be responsible for administering the back payments to victims who have left the National Referral Mechanism; whether the back payments will result in any deduction from any other benefits; and what financial literacy support will be put in place to help victims manage large payments.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

The Government is committed to tacking the scourge of modern slavery and supporting those affected by this crime.

In 2017, Home Office Ministers agreed a comprehensive package of reforms to the National Referral Mechanism, which included the introduction of places of safety for those leaving situations of exploitation, trebling the period of move on support to assist victims moving out of government funded support and aligning the subsistence rates paid to potential victims of modern slavery with those received by asylum seekers.

In light of the judgment in K and AM, the Home Office has immediately reinstated the top up paid to those in the Victim Care Contract who are also receiving support from the asylum support system, so that they receive a total of £65 per week.

We are currently putting in place processes to ensure that those who have been affected receive a full back payment as soon as possible, and will set out how we plan to respond in due course, including our communications with all those affected. These back payments will not be deducted from the asylum support payments which individuals may be receiving.

We are committed to reforming the National Referral Mechanism to ensure that as many victims of modern slavery as possible get the support they need.

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