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Protection of victims

Protection of victims

SKU: 6.31
  • Advice

    According to Schedule 1 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, there are multiple different types of slavery and human trafficking offences. The most common type in the UK involves exploiting a victim based on their nationality and asylum status. A more domestic type is sexual offences, this type of exploitation can be hidden behind closed doors so you should be vigilant in spotting this type of slavery. Look out for these vulnerable groups (both internationals and those who could be vulnerable in their own homes) as they are most likely to be exploited.

    Link to Schedule 1 of the Act


    Defence for slavery or trafficking victims who commit an offence

    Victims of slavery or trafficking can be forced into several compromising situations which may exploit them to commit an offence. So, the law provides a defence for those who commit an offence because of forced slavery. The law defends victims over 18 who reasonably commit the act because they are compelled to do it and the compulsion is due to the victim’s slavery or exploitation, such as the victim feeling obligated to look after a sick person in a family who are exploiting them for their work without proper pay. The law also defends victims under 18 who have reasonably committed the act because of their exploitation.


    Legal aid

    Legal Aid is the production of legal services funded by the public. For victims of slavery, there is civil legal aid available to assist victims in their recovery from the exploitation they have experienced.

    There are three areas of Legal Aid that may help a victim of slavery, they are: -

    • The provision of an application to leave, enter or remain in the UK;
    • Help them to claim under employment law due to their forced labour; and
    • Assist them in claiming damages arising from their slavery.


    Guidance regarding identifying and supporting victims

    There are three things that the Secretary of State must issue guidance about:

    1. What are the signs that someone may be a victim of slavery or human trafficking?
    2. What support is available to those who are reasonably believed to be victims of slavery or human trafficking?
    3. How will it be determined if someone is a victim of slavery or human trafficking?


    Independent child trafficking advocates.

    The Secretary of State is required to provide specialist support (known as child trafficking advocates) to be available to represent and support victims of human trafficking aged under 18. They must promote the child’s well-being and best interests while assisting with legal advice.


    Presumption about age.

    Determining a person’s age can be difficult as there is a likelihood that they have no paperwork such as birth certificates etc. A victim will be assumed to be aged under 18 if this is a reasonable belief and their age cannot be determined. This is important for authorities to consider when they are aiding victims as children are more vulnerable and hence less likely to demand a decent wage or standard of working conditions. This makes children an easy target for exploitation, which is why the authorities give special attention to those presumed to be under the age of 18.

    Through familiarity a child may not be aware they are being abused in this way, thinking it is the normal way to live, as such they may simply not speak out or seek a change.


    Spotting the indicators

    Warning signs that should be reported to Social Services or the Police would include: -

    • Rarely leaving the house;
    • Living apart from family or having limited social contact with friends and family;
    • Living somewhere inappropriate, like a work address or cramped, unhygienic or overcrowded accommodation, including caravans, sheds, tents or outbuildings;
    • Being seen in inappropriate places (for example factories or brothels);
    • Having their movements controlled or being unable to travel on their own;
    • Lacking personal items;
    • Consistently wearing the same clothes;
    • Not being registered with a school or a GP practice;
    • Having money or things you wouldn’t expect them to have;
    • Being moved by others between specific locations (e.g., to and from work), which may happen at unusual times such as very early in the day or night;
    • Being unsure, unable, or reluctant to give details such as where they live;
    • Fearful or withdrawn behaviour;
    • Being involved in gang activity;
    • Being involved in the consumption, sale or trafficking of drugs;
    • Having their communication controlled by somebody else and acting as though they are being instructed by another person;
    • Tattoos or other marks indicating ownership;
    • Physical ill-health, looking unkempt or malnourished;
    • Physical injury, including the kinds of injuries you might get from a workplace;
    • Reluctance to seek help, avoidance of strangers, being fearful or hostile towards authorities; or
    • Inconsistent accounts of their experiences.


    How we can help

    Lestons can intervene and discuss options with you to resolve the matter. To gain our assistance you need to open a case, this is done by taking advantage of our free consultation service, activated by the link at the top of the page, should you wish to start a case the caseworker will send you the suitable payment link.


    Please note your caseworker can only give generic advice, their role is to prepare your details for handling by our legal team and to act as your point of contact, they will also issue you with your Password and PIN, these will be needed to log onto your client dashboard. From your dashboard you will be able to manage and view every aspect of your case, upload documents, images, files etc.


    Lestons have a desire to end modern slavery, as such, we would welcome, and where able we will assist any such initiatives. This assistance may range from simply providing free advice to seconding a member of staff to help develop large scale projects – just let us know your plans or ideas and we will help where we are able.

Click hear to book your

free initial consultation:

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