Adult safeguarding guidance - trafficking
Multi-agency guidance and procedures human trafficking modern day slavery
What is Human Trafficking ?
Trafficking is the movement of people by means such as force, fraud or deception with the aim of exploiting them. Human trafficking is often referred to a "modern day slavery."
Trafficking in adults is:
- The act: recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons.
- The means: threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person.
- The purpose: exploitation.
Trafficking people is a criminal offence. The fact that the adult consents to the intended exploitation is irrelevant where any of the means (above) have been used.
Trafficking of children requires only the "act" and "purpose" above. The "means" does not have to be shown.
Potential victims are people who are vulnerable, for example:-
- people facing poverty in countries of origin
- people who are already victims of abuse in countries of origin and believe this behaviour of abuse, power and control to be 'normal' and for some an improvement in their living conditions
- learning disabled adults or children
- orphaned children with no family support networks
- minority groups
- many victims have little or no education and are unable to read or write
- the socially excluded
- dysfunctional families
- those who won't be missed
It is important to note that many victims of modern day slavery are British adults and children.
Human trafficking is a violation of the victim's human rights.
What are the indicators that a person may be a victim of trafficking (slavery)?
A person may be a potential victim of trafficking if one or more of the factors set out below is present when interviewed please note the list is not exhaustive:-
- distrustful of authorities
- expression of fear or anxiety
- signs of psychological trauma (including post traumatic stress disorder)
- the person acts as if instructed by another
- injuries apparently a result of assault or controlling measures
- evidence of control over movement, either as an individual or as a group
- found in or connected to a type of location likely to be used for exploitation
- restriction of movement and confinement to the workplace or to a limited area
- passport or documents held by someone else
- lack of access to medical care
- limited social contact
- limited contact with family
- doesn't know home or work address
- perception of being bonded by debt
- money is deducted from salary for food or accommodation
- threat of being handed over to authorities
- threats against the individual or their family members
- being placed in a dependency situation
- no or limited access to bathroom or hygiene facilities
Human trafficking - indicators of forced labour
- employer or manager unable to produce documents required when employing migrant labour
- employer or manager unable to provide record of wages paid to workers
- poor or non existent health and safety equipment or no health and safety notices
- any other evidence of labour laws being breached
- no or limited access to earnings or labour contract
- excessive wage reductions
- dependence on employer for a number of services for example work, transport and accommodation
- any evidence workers are required to pay for tools, food or accommodation via deductions from their pay
- imposed place of accommodation
Human trafficking - indicators of domestic servitude
- living with and working for a family in a private home
- not eating with the rest of the family or being given only leftovers to eat
- no proper sleeping place or sleeping in shared space for example the living room
- no private space
- forced to work in excess of normal working hours or being 'on-call' 24 hours per day
- employer reports them as a missing person
- employer accuses person of theft or other crime related to the escape
- never leaving the house without employer
Human trafficking - indicators of sexual exploitation
- adverts for sexual services offering women from particular ethnic or national groups
- sleeping on work premises
- movement of women between brothels or working in alternate locations
- women with very limited amounts of clothing or a large proportion of their clothing is 'sexual'
- only being able to speak sexual words in local language or language of client group
- having tattoos or other marks indicating 'ownership' by their exploiters
- person forced, intimidated or coerced into providing services of a sexual nature
- person subjected to crimes such as abduction, assault or rape
- someone other than the potential victim receives the money from clients
- health symptoms (including sexual health issues)
- signs of ritual abuse and / or witchcraft (juju)
- substance misuse
What do I do after I identify a "possible" victim of trafficking?
You may want to discuss the situation or seek advice from a specialist agency. A good place to start is the Salvation Army website and 24 hour helpline Telephone: 0300 3038151.
If you are unsure whether an individual is a potential victim of trafficking The UK Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC) can advise and also assist you to engage with the police, home office and other agencies investigating human trafficking.
Speak to their tactical advisers
Telephone: 0844 778 2406 (available 24 hours)
There are national guidelines for responding to victims of trafficking. These are different for children and adults.
- If you believe the victim to be a child you should contact children's services Telephone: ? straightaway and they will follow up/provide assistance. If in any doubt about age you should always immediately refer as a child.
- For adults the process is more complex. There are 2 simplified flowcharts appendix 1 and 2 at the end of this guidance document, which guide practitioners through the process of accessing help for victims of trafficking reproduced at the end of this guidance.
A more detailed explanation/background of the process is outlined below.
Where the victim is an adult there is a national system for firstly reporting this which involves reporting the information to a section of the National Crime Agency called the NRM (National Referral Mechanism) and secondly accessing specialist help from the Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army have been commissioned by the government to provide specialist help including safe housing to victims. Where a victim needs assistance it is essential to access help from the Salvation Army without delay. However the Salvation Army are not empowered to assist unless a referral has already gone to the NRM. For children the support comes from children's services.
It is acknowledged that some victims may be reluctant to report to the police for all sorts of reasons e.g. because of fear and uncertainty. Reporting the matter to the NRM is not the same as reporting a crime to the police and does not result in the police becoming involved. Accessing help from the Salvation Army is also not dependent on the police being informed, it is only dependent on referral to the NRM . Just to emphasise the point there is also no communication from the NRM to the local police when they receive a referral.
Victims should however be routinely encouraged to report to the local police. Also if the worker believes there may be other victims involved they will be obliged to inform the police because of their wider duty of care to the other potential victims. This will need explaining this to the victim. If the trafficking does not involve other victims, the worker should always promote the reporting of the matter to the police but not at the expense of driving the victim away from receiving help. Contacting the police should be via 101 if urgent or via the PPIU if not.
At the same time as referring to the NRM, workers are also recommended to Email: ? which is the police unit with responsibility for oversight of trafficking activity in North Yorkshire as a whole.
Again if the victim is happy to involve the police the full details should be sent. If however they are not the unit would still want to receive anonymised information so it can further develop its understanding of the level and type of trafficking taking place within North Yorkshire.
There is a good advice leaflet for the victim available which is in different languages and can help you reassure the victim about what help is available.
Once the NRM receive a referral (which has to be via their standard application form) they will make a provisional decision as to whether the individual is a victim of trafficking or not within 5 days. The Salvation Army will normally await this decision before providing assistance unless help is needed urgently in which case they will provide the help needed.
After making their provisional decision the NRM then undertake their own formal investigation. This is known as the "recovery and reflection period" They will make a final decision regarding whether there is sufficient evidence of trafficking usually after a minimum of 45 days. During this time the victim is eligible for help from the Salvation Army which includes longer term planning/advice.
Please note the following:
- a referral cannot be made to the NRM unless the adult gives informed consent to the referral
- support is provided centrally, not locally by the Salvation Army and its partner agencies. It includes the right to protection from retaliation, intimidation and the risk of being re-trafficked; compensation; counselling and legal advice
- the individual should also be told that, during this 45 day period (in reality, it may be longer) no action shall be taken to remove the individual from this country
- as previously stated the assistance to the individual shall be provided irrespective of whether the potential victim is willing to act as a witness in criminal proceedings against the alleged perpetrator
- you should explain to the individual that if he / she, after the 45 day period has expired, is not found to be a victim of trafficking, and has no other lawful entitlement to remain, there is a risk that the individual may not be able to remain in this country
- you must engage the services of a suitable interpreter. For example, if the individual is Roma, you must ensure that the interpreter speaks the Roma language
- be aware that the individual may not realise he /she is a possible victim of trafficking. For example, sex workers may believe they are in love with their trafficker; may have feelings of dependency towards the perpetrator or may be accepting of their situation. They may not realise that their treatment is abusive or, potentially, criminal
- the alleged perpetrator may have threatened the individual (or the individual's family "back home") with violence or financial repercussions if the individual exposes the trafficking to the authorities
- it is possible for workers to challenge an NRM decision either provisional or final if they believe certain relevant factors have not been properly considered/ taken account of. It may be helpful to discuss the decision and reasons for challenging it with the NRM or Salvation Army or seek legal advice
There are a limited number of agencies who are empowered to report the victims circumstances themselves to the NRM using the standard required form. These are called first responders and are the following:-
- SOCA / UKHTC
- Local authorities
- UK Border agency
- Poppy project
- TARA project (Scotland)
- Migrant helpline
- Medaille Trust
- Salvation Army
- Gangmasters Licensing Authority
- UK police forces
- Local authority children's services
- Northern Ireland DHSS
- Northern Ireland public safety
If you are employed by one of the above agencies please refer to the flowchart see appendix 2
As a first responder where do I send the NRM Referral form?
The referral form should be faxed to UKHTC
Fax: 0870 496 5534The
Referral form can also be sent by
The Competent Authority (UKVI or UKHTC) shall acknowledge receipt of the referral form and allocate it to a case worker. It shall investigate whether the potential victim is, indeed, a victim of human trafficking. At the end of the "recovery and reflection" period it shall inform the individual whether or not he/she has been found to be a victim of trafficking.
Agencies not listed as a first responder
If the agency that employs you is not on this list you and/or the victim should:-
- Contact the Salvation Army via their national trafficking 24 Hour helpline. Who can arrange completion of the NRM referral either over the telephone or arrange for a local Salvation Army representative to meet in person with the victim to do this.
Telephone: 0300 3038151
- There is a flowchart in the procedure to help you do this - see appendix 1
The following NHS leaflet provides good advice to any agency not on the list of approved 1st responders, see downloadable documents.
Contacting the Police
If you believe an individual is at risk of harm or exploitation, consider whether to refer to the police. For children If you believe the person being trafficked is a child you must report to the police as well as children's services this includes informing via
Email: ? traffickingandslavery@???>
In an emergency dial 999
Alternatively for less urgent matters you can contact Police Public Protection Unit (PPIU) triage desk:-
With any referrals made to local Police Public Protection Units or via 101 an email should also be sent.
Crime stoppers can also be contacted anonymously
Telephone: 0800 555 111
This information will be treated in the strictest confidence. There is also now a Freephone 24/7 national hotline for the general public to report suspicions of trafficking
Telephone: 0800 0121 700
What should I do if the adult lacks mental capacity to consent to be referred to the NRM?
You should presume that an individual has capacity to consent to a referral to the NRM.
If there is a reasonable belief that the person lacks capacity to make an informed decision (unable to use, retain or weigh up the information to consent to a referral), you should make a best interests decision as to whether to complete and sign the referral forms on behalf of the individual.
* Capacity is time and decision specific* A copy of the capacity assessment should be delivered to UKHTC with the Referral form.
A child does not need to consent to the referral into the NRM. Once a potential child victim is identified, you should immediately contact Children's Services and request a childcare social worker to complete the NRM referral form.
You will be aware that unaccompanied child victims of trafficking need specific assistance and support due to their situation and particular vulnerability.
From the moment an unaccompanied potential child victim of trafficking is identified, until a durable solution is found, you should apply measures appropriate to the needs of the child and ensure that relevant procedural safeguards are applied.
You may be unsure whether the individual is an adult or a child (for example the individual presents as a child but gives his/her age as over 18). Provided there are "reasons" to believe that individual is less than 18 years, you should treat him/her as a child and complete the child referral form.
Similarly, if an individual gives his/her age as less than 18 years but is clearly an adult, you should refer to the NRM as an adult with the individual's informed consent.
More basic information about the Salvation Army
- If you identify a need for support (and the individual consents to a referral to the Salvation Army) you should contact them.
- Referral to the NRM will need to be made first but the Salvation Army can assist with this if the agency referring is not a first responder.
- Salvation Army has a 24 hour helpline Telephone: 0300 303 8151
- The Salvation Army can conduct immediate needs and risk assessments by phone, or face to face.
- The Salvation Army and its partner agencies can also provide accommodation, often at short notice. Accommodation is usually provided out of area, to protect the individual.
- If no need for accommodation is identified, the Salvation Army shall advise what outreach support it can provide. Outreach support is available where the individual already has suitable accommodation or is eligible for accommodation from another source.
- Where adults identified as potential victims have children who are not victims of trafficking the Salvation Army will accommodate the children with their parent/s.
- The Salvation Army can, if necessary, arrange for urgent medical needs to be met and for the individual to be transported to a place of safety.
- Once the potential victim enters the Salvation Army service, he / she is allocated a support worker and has a comprehensive assessment and support plan.
- Once the potential victim enters the Salvation Army service, he / she is allocated a support worker and has a comprehensive assessment and support plan.
Other services provided for the duration of the reflection and recovery period include:-
- access to interpretation and translation
- help to access medical treatment, counselling and legal advice
- support to engage with criminal proceedings against the alleged trafficker or to claim compensation
- support to move on effectively from the service. This may involve practical support to return home (if the victim chooses) or to secure housing, state benefits, employment, education and training
An individual can be referred into the NRM and Salvation Army even if he/she is no longer being trafficked, provided there is evidence that he/she has been trafficked in the past.
Outcome if the individual is identified as a victim of trafficking
Each case will be dealt with individually, depending, for example, on the victim's individual circumstances level of trauma that has been suffered and level of need. If a victim wishes to return to his/her own country, the Salvation Army can assist with this.
If the victim wishes to remain in this country, the Salvation Army can provide practical assistance, such as help with applying for benefits, housing etc
Outcome if the individual is not identified as a victim of trafficking
If, after the recovery and reflection period has expired, the individual is not identified as a victim of trafficking, there is no obligation, either centrally or locally, to continue providing assistance and support to that person (unless there are other statutory obligations to do so).
There is also now a 24/7 national human trafficking hotline set up by the government as part of a campaign to end modern slavery. This is mainly intended for the general public to report possible concerns and seek advice or help Telephone: 0800 012 1700.
If you have any concerns or suspect someone you know may be a victim of human trafficking, contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 and quote Operation Eagle.