The government has announced changes to the National Referral Mechanism, the official framework for identifying those who have been trafficked or enslaved.
The Modern Slavery Taskforce announced the first three of what are to be a serious of improvements:
- a single, expert unit to be created in the Home Office to handle all cases referred from front line staff and to make decisions about whether somebody is a victim of modern slavery, this will replace the current case management units in the National Crime Agency and UK Visas and Immigration, and will be completely separate from the immigration system
- an independent panel of experts to review all negative decisions, adding significantly to the scrutiny such cases currently receive
- a new digital system to support the NRM process, making it easier for those on the front line to refer victims for support and enabling data to be captured and analysed to better aid prevention and law enforcement
The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Kevin Hyland, welcomed the announcement.
The news comes in the same week as two Supreme Court decisions that, Alison Harvey writes, represent a further step forward in empowering trafficked domestic workers in diplomatic households.
A new online training course on identifying and assisting victims of trafficking is now available for Free Movement members. It is worth 3 CPD points.