Victims of human trafficking, torture and modern slavery are held by the government in immigration detention, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS UK) said this week, in an “egregious failure” of the support promised by the Home Office.
The report, which considered the experiences of people that the JRS had supported in immigration detention between March 2017 and September 2018, said that in some cases the Home Office continues to detain vulnerable people, even when they have been identified as victims.
The JRS called for an absolute bar on the detention of victims of trafficking or any form of modern slavery. It said that referral to the National Referral Mechanism, the government’s system for assessing whether someone is a victim of trafficking, should trigger release from detention. JRS UK director Sarah Teather said: “This research … is a snapshot of a system that routinely incarcerates too many people for far too long.”