Human Trafficking: Coronavirus

Home Office written question – answered on 9th July 2020.

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Photo of Carolyn Harris Carolyn Harris Labour, Swansea East

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reason people in the National Referral Mechanism who are in outreach support have been treated differently from people in that mechanism who are in safe house accommodation during the covid-19 outbreak.

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

The safety and security of those supported through the modern slavery Victim Care Contract is a top priority for government. Contingency planning has considered, and continues to consider, how essential services and support for all victims of modern slavery can continue throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

All confirmed victims of modern slavery, in both outreach and safe house accommodation, continue to have their recovery needs assessed in order to provide tailored, needs-based support to each individual victim.

The Recovery Needs Assessment (RNA) process identifies ongoing recovery needs across the three pillars of Victim Care Contract (VCC) support, for accommodation, financial assistance and support worker contact. This process informs a tailored move-on plan, with the aim of establishing longer-term stability by helping victims to transition out of VCC support and back into a community, as appropriate. Where this is not possible, VCC support will continue to meet the victim’s ongoing recovery needs for as long as there is an identified need for that support.

On 6 April, in line with Public Health England guidance, we announced that all individuals accommodated by the VCC would not be required to move on from their Government-funded accommodation for a period of three months. This temporary policy is currently being reviewed.

We have also been clear that should any victim in outreach support experience a change in their situation which leaves them destitute and without accommodation, their needs, entitlements and risk factors will be assessed so that they can be provided with the most appropriate safe and secure accommodation during this time.

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