Strategic Plan for Victim Identification & Care

Priority 1: To drive improved identification of victims of modern slavery and enhanced levels of immediate and sustained support for victims and survivors across the UK


How is this going to be achieved?


1.1 Victim Identification

1.11 Providing independent feedback on the implementation of the piloting of the reformed National Referral Mechanism, highlighting any concerns and drawing attention to good practice to ensure consistent and credible decision making and the development of a process that meets victims’ needs.

1.12 Collaboration with the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration to ensure that appropriate training and checks are in place for border and immigration officials to be better equipped to identify potential victims and suspected traffickers.

1.13 Collaboration with public authorities and health agencies across the UK to ensure that appropriate victim identification training is in place.

1.14 Promoting awareness raising and training for local authorities, the health sector and relevant statutory agencies and reviewing associated materials across the UK.

1.15 Working with the Home Office and external partners to ensure that the UK has a fit for purpose modern slavery helpline that encourages proactive reporting and which is effective in helping potential victims to access appropriate support and assistance.

1.16 Encouraging implementation of effective safeguards and policies to better protect potential victims employed as domestic workers from abuse and to encourage identification, reporting and the accessing of support.


1.2 Safeguarding of child victims

1.21 Establishing close working relationships with the Children’s Commissioners for England and Wales and the Commissioners for Children and Young People for Scotland and Northern Ireland to ensure collaborative focus on modern slavery issues.

1.22 Focusing on implementation of improved safeguards to prevent trafficked children from going missing from care and ensuring appropriate reporting procedures are in place if trafficked children do go missing.

1.23 Working with partners on development of toolkits for foster carers of trafficked children.


1.3 Non-prosecution of victims

1.31 Promoting the use of the statutory defence for modern slavery victims who are compelled to commit an offence as a direct consequence of their enslavement to ensure that victims are not criminalised. To date there have been far too many unacceptable instances where trafficked adults and children have been misidentified as offenders and subsequently prosecuted.


1.4 Improved care and support for victims

1.41 Identifying best practice in victim care across the UK and internationally and promoting implementation of findings.

1.42 Partnering with the Human Trafficking Foundation to encourage adoption and implementation of the Trafficking Survivor Care Standards across the UK.

1.43 Encouraging implementation of recommendations for improved longer-term support and reintegration of survivors into society.

1.45 Working to ensure that victims transitioning into other services, including asylum, continue to receive appropriate support.

1.46 Establishment of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Victims’ Commissioner to agree on effective collaboration which is focused on the needs of modern slavery victims in England and Wales.


1.5 Safe and preferable voluntary return for survivors

1.51 Working to understand and promote best practice in safe and preferably voluntary return for survivors.


How will we know that the response is improving?

  • Statutory agencies with a duty to respond will have implemented policies and procedures to actively identify victims and ensure they receive appropriate support.
  • Increased numbers of potential victims will be identified and referred to the NRM for appropriate support, though, in the long-term, the scale of the crime should be reduced.
  • Following the NRM pilot schemes, a reformed NRM process will be implemented which ensures consistent and credible decision making.
  • Health care professionals across the UK will be trained to respond effectively, resulting in an increase in identifications.
  • Increased reporting through an improved modern slavery helpline, which supports enhanced data collection to inform the overall response.
  • Production of a toolkit by December 2016 for safeguarding of children entering the NRM, created in
  • collaboration with the Children’s Commissioners for England and Wales and the Commissioners for Children and Young People for Scotland and Northern Ireland, relevant child care bodies and specialist NGOs.
  • An end to wrongful prosecutions of victims of modern slavery.
    Effective safeguards in place to prevent children and young people going missing from care and being retrafficked, and compliance with existing safeguarding measures.

Areas of focus

Useful Resources

Related News & Insights

News | 23 October 2018
The Modern Slavery Unit in the Home Office has launched a newsletter to keep stakeholders informed of its progress in delivering reform of the National Referral Mechanism (NRM), and to share key news from its partners in their work to tackle modern slavery.
News | 22 October 2018
A new report released jointly today by the Office of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner and the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab takes a close look at modern slavery, environmental destruction and climate change as interconnected crises. The study reveals the ways in which these three areas are intrinsically linked, strongly supporting the argument that it is vital to for them to be routinely considered as connected issues and tackled with holistic strategies.
News | 18 October 2018
A new collaborative study between experts at the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham and the Office of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, issued on 18 Oct 2018, looks at the true extent and nature of modern slavery and human trafficking in hand car washes in the UK.
News | 15 October 2018
The Human Trafficking Foundation has today published the updated Slavery and Trafficking Survivor Care Standards, a vital resource for frontline practitioners who work with survivors. These Standards have been endorsed by Kevin Hyland OBE, the inaugural Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner.
News | 11 October 2018
The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner’s (IASC) office, in collaboration with the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham, has today launched an online toolkit to help local organisations and agencies work better together to tackle modern slavery.
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