May 2009 Protecting Victims of Human Trafficking


New protection provisions came into force 1 April 2009 for people who have been trafficked for sexual, labour or other exploitation including:



A 45-day minimum recovery and reflection period

A one-year temporary residence permit AND

Access to a national support service

The recovery period is intended to allow time to recover from initial trauma, to escape the influence of alleged perpetrators and to take an informed decision in relation to assisting any investigation or possible prosecution.  The period can be extended where the victim requires counselling and should cover the  time recommended by the counsellor.


Support should include:



Emergency health treatment


Legal advice

Interpretation/translation services

Access to education for children


A residence permit can be granted where a victim’s stay is considered necessary owing to their personal situation or for the purpose of their co-operation with any ongoing investigation or criminal proceedings.

Referrals should be made in the first instance to the UK Human Trafficking   Centre and can take place from various sources such as through immigration proceedings, employment or labour inspections, in family or criminal courts or through social care and health.  For further information on the Convention see

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