The UK Home Office established the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) as a coordinated framework to identify and support potential victims of modern slavery. Modern slavery encompasses various forms of exploitation, including human trafficking, slavery, servitude, and forced or compulsory labour. The NRM aims to ensure that individuals identified as victims of trafficking or modern slavery receive the appropriate assistance and protection.

Role of NRM in Identifying Victims

  • Professionals such as caseworkers identify indicators of trafficking or modern slavery.
  • Also, Designated first responders submit referrals, and the competent authority conducts a thorough assessment.

Understanding Trafficking within Modern Slavery

  • Trafficking involves controlling individuals through means like force, coercion, abduction, fraud, or exploitation of vulnerability.
  • It differs from smuggling, which involves illegal transportation without the same control and exploitation elements.

Operation of NRM

  • NRM operates under the UK Home Office and involves designated first responders like Migrant Help, the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, police, local authorities, and charities.
  • First responders, individuals themselves, or support workers with consent can refer individuals into the NRM.

Assessment and Support

  • Upon referral, authorities cannot remove individuals from the UK during assessment.
  • The competent authority makes a “reasonable grounds decision” within five days, indicating a 50% or greater chance that the individual is a victim.
  • Positive decisions entitle individuals to support from the Salvation Army while awaiting a “conclusive grounds decision.”
  • Positive conclusive grounds decisions may lead to discretionary leave to remain in the UK.
  • Individuals can challenge decisions through reconsideration or judicial review processes.

Integration with Immigration and Asylum

  • Trafficking victims, including asylum seekers, may require evidence of future risk if returned to their country of origin.
  • Recognition as a trafficking victim can impact immigration cases, potentially leading to discretionary leave based on individual circumstances.

The NRM plays a crucial role in identifying and supporting victims of modern slavery, ensuring their protection and access to appropriate services during assessment. If you believe you have been suffered from modern slavery and need to request help, please contact us.

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