The government has announced immediate changes for people in the modern slavery victim care contract.
Individuals supported through the modern slavery victim care contract will be allowed to stay in government-funded safe accommodation for the next three months, as the government steps up measures to protect the vulnerable from coronavirus.
Through the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) individuals are able to access support including accommodation for at least 45 days if found to be potential victims.
Where they would ordinarily be assisted to move on from their accommodation, this temporary change will ensure that these individuals remain safely in accommodation.
These changes will take immediate effect.
The Home Office has announced this suspension to ensure the safety of vulnerable victims in line with official advice.
“The safety of modern slavery victims and the frontline staff supporting them remains a top priority.
By taking this decisive action we will ensure that vulnerable people continue to have access to safe accommodation.
The advice is clear that we all need to stay at home to save lives and protect the NHS.”
Safeguarding Minister Victoria Atkins
The NRM will continue to take referrals of potential modern slavery victims and those referred will be provided with the support they require, including accommodation.
The government is working with partners so victims can get the support they need. Support workers continue to provide essential support services remotely where possible, to comply with social distancing measures.
The government also continues to work with The Salvation Army, the primary provider of support, on reviewing processes and policy to maintain the services they provide to modern slavery victims during this time.
“The Salvation Army is working closely with our partners and the Home Office to quickly adapt our existing operations so that victims of modern slavery continue to have the best care possible, to keep them safe and help them continue their recovery despite the challenges we face in the light of coronavirus.
We are already making available new safe houses on a regular basis. We have plans to ensure we continue to have the capacity to accommodate new victims needing support, which will contribute to the additional capacity now required following the government’s decision to restrict clients moving on from our network of safe houses.”
Director of Anti-Trafficking and Modern Slavery for The Salvation Army, Kathy Betteridge
Further information about Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking, including the warning signs to look out for can be found on our dedicated page.
Reporting Concerns & Support
UK Modern Slavery Helpline and Resource Centre – Call 08000 121 700
The Modern Slavery Helpline and Resource Centre brings us closer to the eradication of modern slavery. They provide victims, the public, statutory agencies and businesses access to report concerns and get help support and advice, on a 24/7 basis.
If you have any concerns about someone you believe to be subjected to modern slavery you can contact Warwickshire Police on 101. In an emergency call 999.
Support for Professionals
The following links provide information for professionals, working with children and/or adults, on Modern Day Slavery and Human Trafficking:
Support for Warwickshire Businesses
The Transparency in Supply Chains provision in the Modern Slavery Act 2015 seeks to address the role of businesses in preventing modern slavery from occurring in their supply chains and organisations. Find out more information on Warwickshire Business Watch.