Release data on human trafficking and slavery

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Victims of human trafficking and modern slavery often face a legacy of severe mistreatment, including physical, emotional, and sexual abuse(1).

After coming into contact with UK authorities, exploited people should be supported. Yet, data secured by After Exploitation through Freedom of Information requests reveal that many are held in prison-like settings, deported, or denied the support they are legally entitled to.

It took years for the Home Office to admit that immigration outcomes of trafficking victims are recorded. We believe that the hidden nature of this data has allowed the mistreatment of trafficking victims in the UK to persist.

The Government should not wait for Freedom of Information requests and challenges to report what happens to victims of trafficking. This data should be published publicly, on a quarterly basis, in the same way that other statistics on asylum, detention, deportation and immigration are already reported.

We demand the UK Government make itself accountable on trafficking outcomes, by publicly reporting these statistics.

We know the following information on victims and potential victims of trafficking to be held by the Home Office or other Government sources, and we ask they publish:

·   Immigration outcomes including immigration claims and rejections, deportations and detention of trafficking and potential trafficking victims
·   Support including the number of trafficking victims who do or do not receive safe housing in the UK
·   Welfare of returning victims including cases of re-trafficking and reprimands by traffickers

Last month, After Exploitation’s report revealed that 507 potential victims of trafficking were held in immigration detention last year alone. Defending the Home Office’s repeated denial of this data, the then-Immigration Minister told MPs that this data was not assured to Office of National Statistics standards (2).

However, all data extracted on trafficking outcomes was held on ASD or CID databases, where ONS-approved information on detention, deportation and asylum are extracted from. We believe that, if needed, the Government should subject trafficking statistics to the scrutiny needed to elevate this data to publishable standards.

Nobody living with the legacy of exploitation should be threatened with forced return to the site of their abuse, nor should they spend any length of time in prison-settings. Yet, without data transparency, this situation will continue.

Signed,

After Exploitation,
African Rainbow Family,
Anti Slavery International
AVID (Association for Visitors in Detention)
BID (Bail for Immigration Detainees),
CARAS,
Detention Action,
ECPAT, 
Equality Now,
Ex-Detainee Project,
FLEX,
Freedom United,
Gatwick Detainee Welfare Group,
Help Refugees,
Hope for Justice,
JCWI,
Lesbian Immigration Support Group,
Migrant Rights Network,
Migrant Voice,
Medical Justice,
New Horizons in British Islam,
Race on the Agenda,
RefuAid,
Rene Cassin,
Right to Remain,
Scottish Detainee Visitors,
Runnymede Trust,
UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group,
Women for Refugee Women

(1) National Symposium on the Health Needs of Human Trafficking Victims - PostSymposium Brief - US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. Accessed: https://aspe.hhs.gov/report/national-symposium-health-needs-human-trafficking-victims-post-symposium-brief

(2) https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2019-07-17a.857.7