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How do we compensate victims of human trafficking in the UK?

Posted by Stop the Traffik on Tue, 05 Apr 2016 11:00:48 +0000

“Am I entitled to some compensation”? Asked “Jan” a victim of human trafficking for the purposes of forced labour. “Yes” I answered, but immediately became worried about the mind field that lay ahead.

Research from the EU funded human trafficking project TRACE (Trafficking as a criminal enterprise) has shown that it remains difficult for victims to receive compensation either during criminal procedures or in separate private legal actions. Procedures are complicated and often take a long time and furthermore, in the case of private actions, are expensive. Moreover, judges find it hard to estimate the height of the damages, even material damages thus resulting in a lack of uniformity.

Yet, it feels like it should be the most natural thing; victims who experience the heinous crime should be swiftly recompensed for their trauma. Certainly, human rights law governs the issue through the right to an effective remedy, which should necessitate compensation and free legal aid.

Article 15 (3) – (4) of the Council of Europe Trafficking Convention is very specific and is a basis for state responsibility to allow victims to seek compensations. The provision reads:

3 Each Party shall provide, in its internal law, for the right of victims to compensation from the perpetrators.

4 Each Party shall adopt such legislative or other measures as may be necessary to guarantee compensation for victims in accordance with the conditions under its internal law, for instance through the establishment of a fund for victim compensation or measures or programmes aimed at social assistance and social integration of victims, which could be funded by the assets resulting from the application of measures provided in Article 23.

Regrettably, the obligations contained in Article 15 are riddled with weaknesses and ambiguities. Art. 15(3) requires that compensation is linked to the establishment of the perpetrator’s criminal responsibility. Yet prosecutions are few and far between. Conversely, Art. 15(4) provides for wider scope, and encompasses situations where trafficked persons can pursue compensation from other sources, e.g. as a civil procedure or via a state compensation fund.

Yet as found by the TRACE project, no European State appears to have developed a fund specifically for victims of human trafficking. In addition, the flexibility to adopt measures in accordance with the conditions under state internal law means that compensation is regulated differently across countries. Consequently, some victims may find it easier to gain compensation than others.

Turning to the UK, and the options that Jan had afore him. Firstly, and in line with the afore mentioned Convention, compensation could have been sought during criminal proceedings:

  • Through prosecutors requesting a compensation order upon conviction in appropriate cases under sections 130 -132 of the Powers of the Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000, which provides for compensation orders against defendants.
  • Through confiscation and compensation under section 13(2) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Here, the court must determine any application for confiscation before considering a compensation order, however, the court has a discretion under section 13(5) and (6) POCA 2002 to make both a compensation order and a confiscation order against the same person in the same proceedings if it believes that the defendant will have sufficient means to satisfy both orders in full.

However prosecutors can apply for these only post-conviction; Jan’s perpetrator had not been identified, prosecuted or convicted.

Jan could have sued the offender in the civil courts. Civil litigation enables the victim to hold a defendant personally accountable for his actions, though funding for legal representation to pursue a civil compensation claim is often a bar to this course of action. However, as before he was unsure as to the whereabouts of his offender.

As such Jan’s only other option was through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). This scheme compensates for personal injuries awards to victims of crime and fatal injury awards to immediate family members of a victim who has died as a result of a violent crime. To claim, the victim must have sustained physical or mental injuries as a result of a violent crime. A victim claiming mental injury without physical injury must demonstrate they were put in considerable fear of immediate physical harm.

On learning about the CICA Jan asked if a lawyer would help him. Although in the UK under S.47 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, victims of trafficking can have to access legal aid to seek compensation in civil courts and Employment Tribunals, the same is not available for CICA claims.

In the end Jan decided the whole matter was too complicated and said he would not pursue it. Fortunately, most recently the government has agreed to conduct an urgent review of legal aid provision for people bringing compensation claims against their traffickers, after a judicial review brought by Garden Court Chambers on behalf of legal charity, the Anti-Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Unit (ATLEU).

The detention, coercion, threats and abuse, which trafficked persons, are confronted with, results in both physical and psychological harm. The crime is committed against these persons in such a systematic matter that is incomparable to theft or battery. This evokes an argument that in order to restore their feeling of dignity and security States ought to create national plans for legal aid and compensation to all victims of human trafficking, whether they are irregular or regular migrants.

Author: Julia Muraszkiewicz, member of the TRACE research team and member of STOP THE TRAFFIK Manchester.


Posted by Stop the Traffik on Thu, 10 Mar 2016 21:30:03 +0000

764About the Trip

In 2014, STOP THE TRAFFIK Australia announced that they would be hosting a 12-day, group trip to India. This was an amazing opportunity for STOP THE TRAFFIK volunteers to travel to the world’s epicentre of human trafficking, meet with campaigners and prevention workers, visit projects on the ground, and learn more about the culture of human trafficking. Natalia, a trip participant, was eager to share her experiences and offered to do an interview with STOP THE TRAFFIK so all of our activists could learn about trafficking in India. She said, “The idea is to be aware and understand more of how [human trafficking] works in India,”.

Over their 12-day journey, the group visited Hyderabad, Mumbia, and Assam.

slum sewing womenIn Hyderabad, Natalia said she was impressed by the work being done by the Dalit Freedom Network (DFN) who work with “‘untouchable’ women called Jonanis who are forced into prostitution as a cultural/religious norm. DFN runs a shelter home for their daughters to save them from being prostituted and instead they attend the DFN school!”


SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWhile the group was visiting Mumbai, they were able to visit some of the city’s slums and witness the work being done by Oasis (the parent charity of STOP THE TRAFFIK) to support women who have been prostituted with support services like childcare and training. Oasis also works to raise awareness in slums. If you’re interested in learning more about the work that Oasis is doing in India, watch this video.

Finally, the group visited Assam – a region that is well known to STOP THE TRAFFIK for the exploitation that is prevalent in the region’s many tea plantations. Natalia said, “We saw the awareness and community strengthening work being done which has had amazing results at building resilient and aware communities – trafficking has reduced significantly and they’ve traced and returned some young people who had been trafficked.”

Interview with Natalia

461You must have met some amazing people when you were out there. Amongst such amazing people what stories should our activists hear?

These LEGENDS (pictured above) work with Nepalese women in New Mumbai; they’re trafficked in on the promise of jobs because Nepal is poor and Mumbai is developing but they’re then forced into prostitution. These guys (Bhanu, Abhay and David) work with these women and their children; they’re not a charity, just workers linked to a church.

Of specific awesomeness was the fact that they realised the children…slept underneath the mums’ beds while they were prostituted so they built beds and bought an old brothel room in the alley – the same alley where the women live and are prostituted – now they run it as a small daycare and night shelter. Their vision is to buy a room upstairs for vocational training. Abhay has actually adopted four kids at the request of the mums – it started cos’ one woman said her pimp had threatened to put her daughter ‘to work’ as she wasn’t earning enough.

What were some of the greatest challenges that you faced on your trip?

The fact it’s just so endemic because of poverty and desperation. It was encouraging and inspiring (an overused term in our country but applicable to this!) to see the work being done to lighten up the darkness but just to know there’s *countless* other tea plantations, villages and slums where this is happening with no outreach. India is MASSIVE and so very poor; we’d pass FAMILIES living in a tent on the pavement as a normal part of the day.
If you had to describe the spirit of some of the people you met on the trip in 3 words what would they be?
Generous,  persistent, strong.
Do you have any advice for our activists about the best ways that they can get involved?
  • Follow groups like STOP THE TRAFFIK, Oasis UK & the Dalit Freedom Network on social media and share the updates.
  • Be aware of how use language e.g. instead of saying ‘prostitutes’ or ‘sex workers’ when discussing trafficking, terms like ‘prostituted women’ ‘users’ ‘sex buyers’ are are accurate and show the subtle but important difference between sex work and sex slavery.
  • Buy ethical tea, chocolate, etc. and instead of waiting for a campaign, just message the ones who don’t sell these with tweets/emails etc.
  • Raise awareness & money in fun ways e.g. tea party, dvd eve, henna party if raising money for STT India (just established).

Natalia, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences! We’re so glad that you were able to have such a wonderful and eye-opening trip with STOP THE TRAFFIK Australia!

#EthicalEats – Chilli Con Carne

Posted by Stop the Traffik on Sat, 27 Feb 2016 09:30:36 +0000


The days may be getting longer but that winter chill is still in the air. We bet a hot bowl of Traffik-Free Chilli Con Carne will keep you cozy this weekend! Download our recipe card so you can make a tasty meal tonight and to learn more about trafficking within chocolate supply chains.

Psssst: STOP THE TRAFFIK recommends you purchase fair trade chocolate to use in this recipe, like Green & Black’s. Certification marks by Fairtrade, UTZ, or the Rainforest Alliance show consumers like you and I that the chocolate has been made in monitored conditions that aim to prevent the trafficking of children and adults for labour. 

STOP THE TRAFFIK’s Traffik-Free Chilli Con Carne Recipe

Modern Slavery Network in Manchester

Posted by Stop the Traffik on Wed, 24 Feb 2016 16:06:33 +0000

STOP THE TRAFFIK wins GMP bid to co-ordinate Modern Slavery Network in Manchester

10 November 2015: STOP THE TRAFFIK (STT) have been successful in securing a bid from the Greater Manchester Police Crime Commissioner (PCC), Tony Lloyd to develop and coordinate a Modern Slavery Network in the Greater Manchester area. STOP THE TRAFFIK is a global charity working to prevent human trafficking and disrupt its supply chains around the world.

This announcement builds on 7 years of experience held by our volunteer group STT Manchester in delivering successful community prevention models. STT have employed a full time coordinator to develop the Modern Slavery Network in Manchester to bring together multiple local stakeholders that will actively safeguarding vulnerable communities and ensure the Greater Manchester area become a hostile place for traffickers to operate. The dedicated coordinator will pull together existing best practices to equip and empower front-line staff to protect trafficked persons.

“This commitment from the PCC builds on the pioneering partnership with GMP, and STT Manchester and other third sector organisations to tackle this complex crime in comprehensive and creative way.” – Julia Pugh

“As the newly appointed Network Coordinator for STT I am delighted to have the opportunity to work alongside so many partner organisations and groups, bringing together the shared knowledge and experience to support an effective response to Modern Slavery in Greater Manchester.” – Hannah Flint, newly appointed Network Co-ordinator

“Modern slavery cannot be addressed by any one single agency. It is crucial that we work together to build on existing partnerships and form new ones, to collaboratively tackle this challenging issue. We are excited to be working with STOP THE TRAFFIK as we continue to develop the Greater Manchester response to Modern Slavery.” – Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson, Regional Modern Slavery Lead

STOP THE TRAFFIK CEO, Ruth Dearnley, said, “This is an excellent opportunity for STOP THE TRAFFIK and the GMP to strategically tackle exploitation and modern slavery in Manchester through shared intelligence, campaigns, training and events. We are really excited at the prospect to implement real, systemic change and hope to see this model replicated by police forces around the country.”

You’re Invited: Modern Slavery Forum with STOP THE TRAFFIK

Posted by Stop the Traffik on Thu, 11 Feb 2016 10:19:54 +0000


“As borders become increasingly blurred and the movement of people across countries is higher than it has ever been, the phenomenon of modern slavery is a danger which plagues us. This event hopes to bring light to the unfolding crisis and ask what can be done to put an end to human trafficking. Join us to find out what modern slavery in the UK looks like, how to spot the signs and what you can do about it.”

STOP THE TRAFFIK will be speaking at the Modern Slavery Forum hosted by the University of Exeter on the 22nd of February! If you are interested in attending this FREE event, register through Eventbrite below.
Date: 22/02/2016
Time: 7:00PM – 8:30PM
Location: University of Exeter

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We use both "session" cookies and "persistent" cookies on the website. We will use the session cookies to: keep track of you whilst you navigate the website; remember you when you are logged in; and to suggest content that may be of interest to you. We will use the persistent cookies to: enable our website to recognise you when you visit;


Session cookies will be deleted from your computer when you close your browser unless you were signed into your account whilst visiting our website. We will store session cookies in your profile to help us personalise your experience and nothing else. Persistent cookies will remain stored on your computer until deleted, or until they reach a specified expiry date.


We use OpenCart software in relation to the purchase of products from our website. Cookies are used by OpenCart for your default language and currency settings and to remember the items that are in your basket.


When you make a donation please note that this is via the WorldPay platform. Please check WorldPay's privacy policy in relation to any cookies that may be downloaded from that site at http://www.worldpay.com/about_us/index.php?page=privacy&c=WW.


We use Google Analytics to analyse the use of this website. Google Analytics generates statistical and other information about website use by means of cookies, which are stored on users' computers. The information generated relating to our website is used to create reports about the use of the website. Google will store this information. Google's privacy policy is available at: http://www.google.com/privacypolicy.html. You can opt out of Google Analytics cookies by visiting http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.


Most browsers allow you to reject all cookies, whilst some browsers allow you to reject just third party cookies. For example, in Internet Explorer you can refuse all cookies by clicking "Tools", "Internet Options", "Privacy", and selecting "Block all cookies" using the sliding selector. Blocking all cookies will, however, have a negative impact upon the usability of many websites, including this one.


(3) Using your personal information


Personal information submitted to us via this website will be used for the purposes specified in this privacy and cookies policy or in relevant parts of the website.


We may use your personal information to:


(a) administer the website;


(b) improve your browsing experience by personalising the website;


(c) enable your use of the services available on the website;


(d) send to you goods purchased via the website, and supply to you services purchased via the website;


(e) send statements and invoices to you, and collect payments from you;


(f) send you general (non-marketing) and non-commercial communications;


(g) send you email notifications which you have specifically requested;


(h) send to you our newsletter and other marketing communications relating to our Company Limited by Guarantee or Registered Charity which we think may be of interest to you by post or, where you have specifically agreed to this, by email or similar technology (you can inform us at any time if you no longer require marketing communications by emailing us at info@stopthetraffik.org);


(i) provide third parties with statistical information about our users (including the number of users on our website, their geographic locations and the types of activity they are undertaking) - but this information will not be used to identify any individual user;


(j) deal with enquiries and complaints made by or about you relating to the website;


(k) deal with reported incidents of human trafficking made by you to STOP THE TRAFFIK; and


(l) deal with media enquiries made by you to STOP THE TRAFFIK.


Where you submit personal information for publication on our website, unless it is entered into a secure form or area where the public do not have general access, we reserve the right to remove it.


We will not without your express consent provide your personal information to any third parties for the purpose of direct marketing.


All our website financial transactions are handled through our payment services provider, WorldPay. You can review the WorldPay privacy policy at http://www.worldpay.com/about_us/index.php?page=privacy&c=WW.


We will share information with WorldPay only to the extent necessary for the purposes of processing payments you make via our website and dealing with complaints and queries relating to such payments.


(4) Disclosures


We may disclose information about you to any of our employees, officers, agents, suppliers or subcontractors insofar as reasonably necessary for the purposes as set out in this privacy and cookies policy.


In addition, we may disclose your personal information:


(a) to the extent that we are required to do so by law;


(b) in connection with any legal proceedings or prospective legal proceedings;


(c) in order to establish, exercise or defend our legal rights (including providing information to others for the purposes of fraud prevention and reducing credit risk);


(d) to the purchaser (or prospective purchaser) of any business or asset that we are (or are contemplating) selling; and


(e) to any person who we reasonably believe may apply to a court or other competent authority for disclosure of that personal information where, in our reasonable opinion, such court or authority would be reasonably likely to order disclosure of that personal information.


Except as provided in this privacy and cookies policy, we will not provide your information to third parties.


(5) International data transfers


Information that we collect will not normally be stored and processed in or transferred to countries outside of the European Economic Area (EEA). We will only transfer data to countries outside of the EEA where that country has data protection laws equivalent to those in force in the EEA.


In addition, personal information that you submit for publication on the website will be published on the internet and may be available, via the internet, around the world. We cannot prevent the use or misuse of such information by others.


You expressly agree to such transfers of personal information.


(6) Security of your personal information


We will take reasonable technical and organisational precautions to prevent the loss, misuse or alteration of your personal information.


We will store all the personal information you provide on our secure password- and firewall- protected servers. All electronic transactions and human trafficking incident reports you make to or receive from us will be encrypted using SSL technology.


Of course, data transmission over the internet is inherently insecure, and we cannot guarantee the security of data sent over the internet.


You are responsible for keeping your password and user details confidential. We will not ask you for your password (except when you log in to the website).


(7) Policy amendments


We may update this privacy and cookies policy from time-to-time by posting a new version on our website. You should check this page occasionally to ensure you are happy with any changes.


We may also notify you of changes to our privacy and cookies policy by email.


(8) Your rights


You may instruct us to provide you with any personal information we hold about you. Provision of such information will be subject to:


(a) the payment of a fee (currently fixed at £10.00); and


(b) the supply of appropriate evidence of your identity (for this purpose, we will usually accept a photocopy of your passport certified by a solicitor or bank plus an original copy of a utility bill showing your current address).


We may withhold such personal information to the extent permitted by law.


You may instruct us not to process your personal information for marketing purposes, by sending an email to info@stopthetraffik.org. In practice, you will usually either expressly agree in advance to our use of your personal information for marketing purposes, or we will provide you with an opportunity to opt-out of the use of your personal information for marketing purposes.


(9) Third party websites


The website contains links to other websites. We are not responsible for the privacy policies or practices of third party websites.


(10) Updating information


Please let us know if the personal information which we hold about you needs to be corrected or updated by sending an email to info@stopthetraffik.org.

(11) Contact


If you have any questions about this privacy and cookies policy or our treatment of your personal information, please write to us by email to info@stopthetraffik.org or by post to STOP THE TRAFFIK, 75 Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7HS, United Kingdom


(12) Data controller


The data controller responsible in respect of the information collected on this website is STOP THE TRAFFIK

Our data protection registration number is Z3165593.


Our Charter

Our purpose: STOP THE TRAFFIK exists to end the buying and selling of people.
We are prevention focused; we prevent human trafficking by:


Our values:


As a member of STOP THE TRAFFIK, my commitment is:

  1. To work to further the purpose of STOP THE TRAFFIK as outlined by this charter 
  2. When I use the brand I will follow brand guidelines 
  3. When I fundraise I will follow the fundraising guidelines 
  4. When I collect data I will give all data collected to STOP THE TRAFFIK, the registered legal owner. 
  5. When I take action I will plan, stay safe and legal 
  6. To Work with other members whenever possible as greater impact can be achieved through collaboration.