Accessing Support

Potential victims of modern slavery in England and Wales can access support through The Salvation Army. The Salvation Army holds a contract to provide support services to adult victims of trafficking in England and Wales.

In Scotland support and assistance to potential and confirmed adult victims of trafficking is provided through two organisations: TARA and Migrant Help. TARA provides support to women trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation and Migrant Help provides support to all other adult victims.

Child trafficking and exploitation is child abuse. Where a child is suspected of having been trafficked, care and support is provided through local authority social work services. Where a concern is raised, Police Scotland will make contact with the relevant local authority social work service but they can also be contacted directly. Information about Scottish local authorities can be accessed here.

To access these services people usually need to be referred into the National Referral Mechanism ( NRM). Referrals to the NRM can only be made by authorised agencies known as First Responders. Authorised agencies in the UK are the police force, the UK Border Force, Home Office Immigration and Visas, social services and certain Non-Governmental Organisations. As part of charity Unseen, the Modern Slavery Helpline is a registered first responder, which means that we can, if needed and appropriate, make referrals into the NRM on behalf of an individual or make the referral if another frontline agency isn’t a First Responder.

If it:

is decided, by the UK Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC) Team that an individual is a potential victim then they will be offered accommodation at a safe-house or supported in the community, and granted a period of reflection and recovery of 45 days. This can be extended if the victim needs this kind of support for a longer period or if making the decision takes longer. During this time further information is gathered relating to the referral from the First Responder and other agencies. During this period the UKHTC team are deciding is the person is a victim of modern slavery or trafficking.

The target for this decision is within the 45-day recovery period.

As a frontline professional if you have someone you are concerned about you need to complete an NRM form, or get a first responder to do this for you. You then need to speak with The Salvation Army in England and Wales or TARA or Migrant Help in Scotland to discuss support needs and make a referral into safe accommodation.