The UN definition of Human Trafficking:
“The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation”
Kalayaan’s services are open to all migrant domestic workers in the UK, irrespective of any exploitation they may, or may not have, experienced at the hands of their employers. Unfortunately a large number of the workers who come to Kalayaan have recently escaped exploitative employment, including forced labour and trafficking for domestic servitude. Between April 2012 and March 2014 Kalayaan staff internally assessed 69% of the workers on tied visas who registered with us during this time as having been trafficked (and 26% of those who had not been tied- ie who entered before the 2012 visa changes). One result of our experience in identifying and supporting migrant domestic workers who have been trafficked for domestic servitude is that we are a First Responder meaning that with their informed consent we can refer workers who we identify as having being trafficked into the National Referral Mechanism for identifying victims of trafficking (NRM). If identified as trafficked individuals get a 45 day rest and reflection period as well as access to legal aid and other support services. Workers who come to Kalayaan do so in confidence and those we identify as trafficked are under no obligation to enter the NRM.
Kalayaan’s expertise in working with victims of trafficking for domestic servitude resulted in us being called to give substantial oral evidence to the development of the Modern Slavery Bill on the importance of the Bill reinstating key protections to migrant domestic workers including the right to change employer and to renew the visa; to Frank Field’s evidence review published December 2013, to the Joint Committee on the Draft Modern Slavery Bill which recognised the tied ODW visa as ‘strengthening the hand of the slave master against the victim of slavery’ and recommended that the Home Office reverse the changes to the ODW visa. We also gave oral evidence on the 21st July 2014 to the Public Bill Committee on the Modern Slavery Bill. We have also submitted written evidence.
Kalayaan sits on the Anti Trafficking Monitoring Group (ATMG), The Anti-Trafficking Monitoring Group was established in May 2009 to coincide with the entry into force of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings in the UK. Together the Group monitors the British Government’s implementation of the Convention and the EU Trafficking Directive (2011/36/EU) and examines all types of trafficking, including internal trafficking and the trafficking of British nationals. The Group operates according to a human rights based approach to protect the well-being and best interests of trafficked persons. The Group comprises ten leading UK-based anti-trafficking organisations: AFRUCA, Amnesty International Northern Ireland, Anti-Slavery International, Bawso, ECPAT UK, Helen Bamber Foundation, Kalayaan, POPPY project, TARA project and UNICEF UK. We also work closely with the Human Trafficking Foundation. The group combines the experiences and knowledge of members to produce research reports and briefings, share information and to engage with and influence anti trafficking policy making.
The Anti Trafficking Monitoring Group has produced an Alternative Modern Slavery Bill [LINK], containing the legislation we believe necessary to protect victims and prevent slavery as well as to achieve successful prosecutions. Section 19 details the provisions necessary to meaningfully combat trafficking for domestic servitude.