The previous time limit of 45 days has been scrapped – meaning they will now continue to receive help with things like accommodation, counselling and medical care for as long as they need.
The Sun’s Stamp Out Slavery campaign, run in conjunction with Co-op, has highlighted the plight of Britain’s 136,000 slaves working in car washes and nail salons, farms and factories all over the UK.
We’ve been calling on the government to extend support for Britain’s slaves beyond the arbitrary six-week limit and backing Lord McColl’s private members Bill demanding support be extended to at least a year.
One is a Vietnamese man trafficked to the UK in 2016 and forced to work on a cannabis farm. His captors tortured him, beating him over the head with sticks, and threatened to cut his throat if he fled.
The other is a 24 year-old Albanian woman who was held captive from August 2016 and over a period of seven months was raped repeatedly, even after her attackers got her pregnant. She now has a one-year-old daughter.
HELP STAMP OUT SLAVERY
Want to help? Here are some of the possible warning signs to look for, according to the Modern Slavery Helpline:
- Domestic slaves may be held in their employer’s home and forced to carry out tasks such as childcare, cooking and cleaning
- They may not be allowed to leave the house on their own, or they may be monitored
- The person may work long working hours
- They may not have access to their own belongings, such as a mobile phone or their own ID
- The employer may be abusive, both physically and verbally
- The person may not interact often with the family they are employed by
- A domestic slave may be deprived of their own personal living space, food, water or medical care
- They may wear poorer quality clothing compared to other family members
Suspicious? You can call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700, or fill in an online report at: www.modernslaveryhelpline.org/report
In settling the case, the Home Office has committed to “formulating a sustainable needs-based system for supporting victims of trafficking” and staved off a judicial review into whether its previous time-limit on support was illegal.
Ahmed Aydeed from law firm Duncan Lewis which brought the case told The Sun: “We’re glad the Home Secretary has finally seen sense and conceded our clients’ legal challenge – there is no medical or legal basis to limit support for victims to 45 days.
THE STORIES WE’VE TOLD THROUGH STAMP OUT SLAVERY
- ‘I was sold to a gang and forced to grow weed in an illegal UK drugs factory where gangmasters paid me £5 a day and threatened to kill my family if I escaped’
- Shameful truth of £10m flats built by slaves with bogus building skills who were beaten and forced to sleep among rats
- I thought I was going to be a nanny but ended up locked in a London flat where I was starved and raped
- If your car wash costs less than £6 – it could be done by slaves who are beaten and starved
“The 45 day-policy led to victims becoming homeless, and in some cases victims were re-trafficked due to the loss in support.”
A Government spokesperson told us: “Modern slavery is an abhorrent crime which has a devastating impact on the lives of its victims.
“We are committed to eradicating modern slavery in all its forms and supporting victims into accommodation where necessary, where they can rebuild their lives.
LATEST FROM STAMP OUT SLAVERY
“Our world-leading Modern Slavery Act has led to thousands of victims being protected and hundreds of convictions. We are constantly looking to improve the support on offer to victims of modern slavery.”
Welcoming today’s developments, Steve Murrells, Co-op’s CEO told The Sun: “This decision paves the way for more victims to be properly supported and given the chance to rebuild their lives following the deep trauma they will have experienced.”
He added: “The campaign we ran with The Sun undoubtedly amplified the issue, illustrated how far and wide the impact was in this country, and has helped lead to this fantastic outcome.”