UK: Renewed calls for survivor support

A new report published by RedCross UK, Hestia and Ashiana calls for greater support for trafficking survivors, highlighting that many face homelessness and fall back into modern slavery. The charities recommend at least 12 months of specialist support be available to survivors. 

Support for modern slavery and trafficking survivors in the UK is currently only availble for a 45 day period. The report reveals that this limited period leaves them “facing poverty and struggling to cope with complex mental health needs”. This is especially challenging for those without UK or EU citizenship who have no right to remain in the UK, making them ineligible for healthcare support, permanent secure accommodation, financial assistance and mental health treatment. 

The research found that those survivors without access to permanent accommodation are at greater risk of mental health issues and re-trafficking. Red Cross, Hestia and Ashaia trialled a pilot model of long-term support to trafficking survivors. Half of those supported were female sexual exploitation survivours who had previously been placed in mixed-sex accommodation that heightened their risk of further exploitation. 

For more information on the report’s findings, as well as specifics of the charities’ demands from government, click here.

Sonja Duncan