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.
Take Action: Support for All UK Victims of Human Trafficking
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.