Dame Sara Thornton's concerns about failure to protect and support victims of modern slavery raised in The Guardian


Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner Dame Sara Thornton's concerns about Home Office decision making around discretionary leave for victims of modern slavery are highlighted in The Guardian today. In an op-ed Dame Sara reveals the extremely low number of victims of trafficking granted temporary leave to remain in the UK and cites the worrying case of a confirmed victim from Eritrea.

Dame Sara also focuses on the government's nationality and borders bill referencing Lord McColl's tabled amendment on support for confirmed victims.



Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner Dame Sara Thornton wrote:

“One aspect of the government’s nationality and borders bill, which is now making its way through the House of Lords, seeks to codify in law the circumstances in which temporary leave to remain will be granted to assist the person in their recovery, to enable them to seek compensation or to cooperate with the police. Last week, Lord McColl tabled an amendment to make this provision more generous, providing at least 12 months’ support for confirmed victims of modern slavery, which was supported by peers.

I hope the government gives this amendment serious consideration, but there is also more work to be done in terms of how the Home Office makes its decisions – an area that concerns me."


The Commissioner concluded:

Ministers have repeatedly provided assurances that decisions on granting leave to remain for survivors of trafficking will be made on a case-by-case basis. But it is hard to have confidence in the system when confronted with this quality of decision making. Lord McColl’s amendment would ensure a more generous approach to vulnerable and traumatised victims of the most serious crimes. Seriously considering it would be the least the government could do."


Read the full opinion piece here.


In a separate article Police and Crime Correspondent Vikram Dodd Police highlighted Dame Sara's piece. Read his article here.