UK’s First Super-Complaint Relating to Modern Slavery

The NGO Hestia made a super-complaint regarding UK law enforcement’s response to modern slavery. Modern slavery operations by police forces increased by 250% in 2018, however only 7% of these cases have been referred to the Crown Prosecution Service. Their report Underground Lives from March 2019 indicates that police are criminalising the victims of trafficking, therefore hindering the prosecution of their exploiters. HTMSE founder Philippa Southwell was quoted in this report:

“We are still prosecuting individuals on a daily basis when there are key trafficking indicators. […] If we continue to prosecute victims of forced criminality, we will continue to have low prosecution rates for modern slavery-related cases. Almost all of my clients that have been prosecuted do not want to co-operate with a subsequent or parallel investigation into their exploitation because they feel they are not believed.”  

For the full March 2019 report Underground Lives by Hestia, read here.  

Behaviour change communications campaigns targeting the demand

The Freedom Fund have published a paper reviewing the use of Behaviour Change Campaigns, which have been used in healthcare and development sectors to try and influence and transform the behaviour of individuals. The paper reviews Behaviour Change Campaigns which have targeted issues such as child abuse, violence against women, and sexual violence in an effort to develop a future campaign that might tackle modern slavery and child sexual exploitation in Kathmandu.  This paper has drawn on 28 different studies.

The paper has reached several conclusions. The main findings are:

  1. The focus needs to be on injunctive not descriptive norms;
  2. Behaviour Change Campaigns are effective in a wide variety of mediums. However, this is not to say that they will be effective in every medium and context.
  3. Campaigns often succeed in bringing about positive change in the targeted individuals. However, there is some evidence that adverse effects can result.
  4. Evaluation must be embedded from the onset of the Behavioural Change Campaign. Since Behaviour Change Campaigns can have adverse effects the continual effectiveness of the campaign must be subject to constant evaluation.


The report was released in January 2019, and can be found here.

The Advocates for Human Rights Publish 2019 Labor Trafficking Protocol Guidelines

The Advocates for Human Rights published their labour trafficking protocol guidelines on the 31st of January 2019. The guidelines are designed to help communities identify and respond to labour trafficking victims throughout Minnesota, with a particular focus on young victims in their early 20s and younger. The guidelines draw on data collected from over 100 experts and are designed to account for the complex needs of a region that has rural, suburban and urban environments.

The protocol guidelines consist of 6 sections which give:

  1. Background and overview to labor trafficking.
  2. The universal protocol, which provides guidelines to the provision of an effective and comprehensive response to labor trafficking, including sections on collaborative responses, identification, and victim protection.
  3. A protocol implementation worksheet as a simple tool to assist communities plan their responses to labor trafficking.
  4. Sector specific protocol guidelines for use in conjunction with the universal protocol;
  5. Recommendations for changes to the law and policy to improve Minnesota’s response to labor trafficking victims.
  6. Appendices.


The report was funded Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, and the Minnesota Department of Health. The content is solely the work of The Advocates for Human Rights.

The Full report can be found here.

ICD-10-CM Coding for Human Trafficking in Healthcare Institutions

The healthcare system plays a fundamental role in human trafficking identification as
well as on going survivor support. According to reports, many enter the healthcare
system at some point during their process of exploitation. These scenarios are critical
opportunities that are missed if healthcare staff are not equipped to identify victims of

ICD-10-CM abuse codes are used for differentiating victims of human trafficking from
other victims of abuse. The ICD-10 coding has been updated for clinicians to classify a diagnosis correctly in the case of trafficking and to provide appropriate treatment, while tracking the reoccurrence of labour and sexual exploitation of victims.

For the American Health Associations Hospitals Against Violence release of the new ICD-10-CM codes to classify human trafficking abuse as released in June 2018, read here.

Local Authority Support for Unaccompanied Asylum-seeking Children

The Local Authority Support for Unaccompanied Asylum-seeking Children is a fact sheet by Coram Children’s Legal Centre that details information for local authorities who are supporting unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. It provides key information from the Children Act 1989, National Transfer Scheme, Entitlements, Financial support, Advocacy, Legal representation and Challenging inadequate support.

Local authority support for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) by Coram, read here. 

A Game of Chance? Long-term support for survivors of Modern Slavery

The report A Game of Chance? Long-term support for survivors of Modern Slavery Dr. Carole Murphy at The Centre for the Study of Modern Slavery offers a comprehensive analysis into the UK’s current approach to support for victims of human trafficking and modern slavery. It highlights the significant gaps in survivor care, most notably in long-term support. There is little done beyond the 45 day reflection and recovery period of the National Referral Mechanism, after which financial assistance ends and survivors are vulnerable to re-trafficking and exploitation. Hence, the report suggests the “system and its processes and procedures are not fit for purpose and have the potential to cause harm to survivors through re-traumatisation, falling through gaps in service provision and potential re-exploitation.

The key recommendations are:

  • Resource services to work with complexity of survivors’ needs relevant statutory and voluntary sector
  • A positive Conclusive Grounds (CG) decision must carry status and resources (see Lord Mc Coll’s (Victim Support) Bill)
  • Trafficking Survivor Care Standards (HTF) should be implemented as standard model of best practice and should consider introduction of independent advocates
  • Statutory guidelines should be introduced and monitored and include compulsory and embedded training for all First Responders and other statutory services
  • Personnel conducting CG interviews should be properly trained
  • Undertake consistent monitoring of the NRM drawing on evidence based research about what works
  • Document evidence of what works by conducting a cost benefit analysis to establish the social return on investment of longer-term support provision
  • Consider evidence and best practice from other jurisdictions to inform changes


For the full report on A Game of Chance? Long-term support for survivors of Modern Slavery by Dr. Carole Murphy The Centre for the Study of Modern Slavery, read here. 

Trafficking Survivor Care Standards

The Trafficking Survivor Care Standards was drafted as a guide to front line professionals working in the UK counter human trafficking & modern slavery sector, to ensure that survivors receive high quality care. It outlines both principles and practical recommendations to offer a holistic approach that focuses on survivors needs. The aim is to offer solutions to the fundamental recovery and rehabilitation process.

For the full Trafficking Survivor Care Standards by Human Trafficking Foundation 2014, read here. 

Caring for Trafficked Persons: A Guide for Health Providers IOM & UNGIFT

Health care practitioners may face significant challenges when treating human trafficking victims, and come into contact with them at different stages of their exploitation. Careful treatment from healthcare providers can be fundamental in the recovery of abused and traumatised victims. This tool provides a practical guide to assist medical practitioners that are faced with trafficking victims, pulling on collective experiences and cases. It aims to provide guidance in recognising the common health problems and diagnosis associated with trafficking and the most safe and appropriate way to undergo treatments.

For the full report Caring for Trafficked Persons: A Guide for Health Providers by The International Organisation for Migration and UN Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking, read here. 

NHS Human Trafficking e-Learning Tool

The NHS, in collaboration with the Department of Health have developed a tool to assist in identification and care of trafficking victims. The e-Learning tool is aimed to train healthcare staff by outlining various situations of trafficking and covering the legal rights to medical care of trafficking victims. The aim is to inform and prepare front line staff to provide thorough support when confronted with cases of human trafficking.

To access the NHS Human Trafficking e-Learning tool via an e-Lfh account, see here. 

Working with Victims of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation: A Resource for Mental Health Practitioners

Victims of human trafficking and modern slavery often suffer from significant mental health and physical trauma as a result of their exploitation. Resources listed in this report, Working with Victims of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation aims to assist medical practitioners and front line medical professionals coming into contact with potential victims.

For the full resource Working with Victims of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation: A Resource for Mental Health Practitioners by Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, read here.