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Help Wanted? UK Asks Temps to Decide Victims’ Future

  • Published on
    February 14, 2019
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  • Category:
    Human Trafficking, Rehabilitation & Liberation
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Shocking job advertisements posted by the UK Home Office are revealing just how much the government is willing to invest in helping trafficking victims.

Jobs for “National Referral Mechanism Decision Maker” — the individuals who make life-changing decisions about whether or not people are victims of human trafficking — are being advertised as temporary, administrative staff.

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The positions pay just above minimum wage at “up to £9.08 an hour,” and there appears to be no requirements for previous work experience or knowledge about human trafficking.

Buzzfeed News reports:

Christine Beddoe, a consultant on tackling trafficking, who was formerly chief executive of End Child Trafficking and Prostitution (ECPAT), said: “It is ironic that the Prime Minister once saw herself as the champion of modern slavery and yet under her watch the NRM has become nothing more than an administrative nuisance.

“Poor NRM decision-making ruins lives and the cost of challenging decisions in the courts is disproportionately high. Victims are having to wait up to two years for a decision that should take weeks if it was done correctly by trauma trained professionals.”

Diane Abbott, Labour’s shadow home secretary, said: “Short term recruitment like this is how mistakes are made, and at high risk to the victims involved. It is simply unacceptable to have completely inexperienced staff assessing cases of the most vulnerable people. This must end.”

The job description reads, that “the main duties will be to work in a well-established and highly driven operational team and to meet policy and (internal/external) stakeholder expectations by making NRM decisions in an accurate and timely manner.”

The Home Office has long been criticized for the massive backlogs in the NRM system, with 2,200 people waiting for more than a year for a decision on their trafficking case in November 2018. Until they receive a decision, victims cannot access government rehabilitation support.

A spokesperson for the Home Office defended the job ads, saying that recruiting more temporary staff will ensure NRM decisions are made more quickly.

“Successful candidates will receive extensive training from experienced colleagues and their performance will be routinely monitored,” added the spokesperson.


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5 years ago

This use of temps doesn’t surprise me. When I was temping in London in the NHS, I knew a girl who in Australia worked in food technology and was given temp work in an NHS pathology lab diagnosing cancer. On the other hand, many jobs that in Australia required an appropriate degree, did not require any tertiary education in the UK. The UK is not big on appropriate education and ability for important jobs.

M Esslemont
M Esslemont
5 years ago

Non EU citizens recognised by the NRM are automatically considered for Discretionary Leave, but this is not guaranteed and this form of settlement is fairly short term even if they are granted this (ordinarily 18 months or less). Asylum would be a more secure form of residency for vulnerable trafficking victims, but there’s no guarantee that victims will know how to apply or will be successful – asylum criteria does not apply to all trafficking victims, regardless of the severity of abuse.

5 years ago

Disgustingly short sited which shows how little importance they place on the issue and what is the bet that these vulnerable staff members who have not tenure have KPI’s to only let a fixed percentage of people through?

Riccardo Pusceddu
Riccardo Pusceddu
5 years ago

I’d like to know if someone brought to the UK as a slave have got the right to stay in the UK indefinitely, should his/her circumstances be confirmed. Does anyone know?

5 years ago

They’ll probably be working off a checklist or similar chart. One hopes they would, at least. And they’d probably just be the first step interviewers sorting out the dross and passing the possibles further on up the chain into more experienced territory.

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