The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration has published report on the UK Border Force’s identification and treatment of potential victims of modern slavery. The inspection found that identification of victims and perpetrators needs urgent improvement.
The most recent official statistics show that there were 3266 potential victims identified in 2015. However, it is estimated that there are approximately 13,000 victims of modern slavery and trafficking in the UK. Yet, Border Force had set their own target of identifying just 313 potential victims. The report describes this number as ‘modest’, stating: ‘There is a strong chance we are missing thousands of victims’. It goes on to say: ‘Border Force are being let down by their own lack of data recording and inconsistent training of staff’.
In addition, the inspection found that only two cases of traffickers identified by the Border Force resulted in prosecution and conviction. In response to the report the Home Office stated that tackling modern slavery remained a priority for the Government and accepted the majority of the recommendations. The Home Office’s response can be read here.
Migrant Help UK is dedicated to supporting victims of modern slavery and human trafficking. We have specialist teams across the UK committed to ensuring that survivors are provided with a safe and supportive environment and a place of recovery. We work in close collaboration with other voluntary, private and statutory partners to best help survivors recover their dignity and rebuild their lives.
Migrant Help UK also aims to raise awareness of the signs of human trafficking and how to spot them. We believe that higher public awareness will ensure that more potential victims are identified and contribute to an increase in successful prosecutions.