Latest modern slavery fight updates -

Trafficking Victims: Waiting for Asylum in UK Akin to ‘Prison’

  • Published on
    May 23, 2018
  • News Source Image
  • Category:
    Child Slavery, Debt Bondage, Domestic Slavery, Forced Labor, Forced Marriage, Human Trafficking, Law & Policy, Rehabilitation & Liberation, Survivor Stories
Hero Banner

Foreign trafficking victims say applying for asylum in the UK is a deeply frustrating process that often takes years, leaving survivors in legal limbo, barred from working, and suffering from poor health.

Join us in asking the UK to support trafficking victims.

Rose, who was trafficked to the Britain from Nigeria when she was just 21, endured years of sexual abuse before escaping. She is now a 43-year-old single mother, and she has been waiting for three years for a decision on her asylum application.

“It’s just a terrible, terrible system, keeping you with no answers. It’s very inhumane. They don’t treat you like a human being. You don’t have rights. You’re in a prison because you don’t have a life of your own,” she said.

Thomson Reuters Foundation reports:

The Home Office said on its website that asylum seekers usually get a decison on their applications within six months.

“We are modernising our processes and have established a new team to focus on more complex cases to make sure that they are decided faster,” a Home Office spokesman told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“We are committed to transforming the asylum system.”

By the end of 2017, more than 14,000 asylum cases were awaiting a decision, a 25 percent increase on the previous year, the charity Refugee Action said in a study that described the asylum system as “hostile”.

Through Britain’s National Referral Mechanism (NRM), people who say they have been enslaved receive counselling, housing and legal aid while the government decides whether to recognise them as victims.

Once identified, they can apply for asylum but they are not allowed to work while awaiting a decision, relying instead on a weekly government stipend of about 37 pounds ($49).

Ehsan was trafficked to Britain from Iran and spent two and a half years waiting for decision on his asylum case. He was finally granted asylum last year, but doctors have declared him unfit to work due to his mental health.

“It is tough for anybody, let alone me who has been through human trafficking,” he said. “I’m still isolated because of what happened to me. I can’t trust anybody. I’ve got no hope for the future.”

Speak up for UK trafficking victims.


Freedom United is interested in hearing from our community and welcomes relevant, informed comments, advice, and insights that advance the conversation around our campaigns and advocacy. We value inclusivity and respect within our community. To be approved, your comments should be civil.

stop icon A few things we do not tolerate: comments that promote discrimination, prejudice, racism, or xenophobia, as well as personal attacks or profanity. We screen submissions in order to create a space where the entire Freedom United community feels safe to express and exchange thoughtful opinions.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This week

European cocaine gangs using forced labor to exploit children

A recent investigation by The Guardian found the continent’s £10bn appetite for cocaine has led to forced child labor on an equally massive scale. Increasingly powerful drug cartels are forcing hundreds, possibly thousands, of unaccompanied child migrants to work as drug sellers on European streets. They do this to meet the growing demand for cocaine in cities including Paris and Brussels. Industrial scale exploitation The increase in refugees

| Tuesday June 11, 2024

Read more