IASC launch: Asylum decision times for potential victims of modern slavery
The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Dame Sara Thornton, has today published a briefing paper outlining her concerns about the length of time potential victims of modern slavery are waiting for decisions in relation to asylum claims.
The Commissioner consulted Sir Bernard Silverman, Professor of Modern Slavery Statistics at the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab, who assisted with Home Office data analysis.
The following key conclusion has been drawn:
Considering cases resolved in 2018 and 2019, asylum decisions with an associated NRM referral are seven times more likely to have taken longer than 12 months than asylum decisions without an associated NRM referral.
In light of this the Commissioner wrote to the then Minister for Safeguarding, Victoria Atkins, requesting an examination of these processes. The Minister’s response is included in the briefing and can be read here.
Dame Sara Thornton, Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, said:
“The government’s Nationality and Borders Bill aims to make the system fairer so that those in genuine need of protection can be better protected. There is, however, nothing in the Bill to address the current backlogs in decision-making which disproportionately affect victims of modern slavery. Since being appointed as Commissioner I have been increasingly concerned about the length of time victims are waiting for NRM decisions.
“The interaction between the NRM and asylum systems is complex. However, cases with an NRM referral make up a relatively small proportion of overall decisions. It is therefore alarming that in recent years resolved asylum decisions with an associated NRM referral were seven times more likely to have taken longer than 12 months than those without."
Read the full briefing here.