Modern Slavery
Human Trafficking

Modern slavery is not an immigration issue


Human trafficking and people smuggling are not the same thing, and those who have experienced the horrors of modern slavery should not be forced to defend themselves against accusations of trying to ‘game’ Britain’s asylum system.

Causeway are shocked and disheartened at the news that the UK Government has re-classified modern slavery as an ‘illegal immigration and asylum’ issue, rather than a ‘safeguarding’ one.

The move is believed to be in response to new Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s belief that modern slavery victim numbers are rising due to people ‘gaming the system.’

As an anti-slavery organisation, and a subcontractor of the Modern Slavery Victim Care Contract, Causeway have supported thousands of survivors of exploitation and human trafficking, and it is not our experience that people try to ‘game the system.’ In fact, the government’s own report says that in 2020 the proportion of positive conclusive grounds decisions was 89%. 

Causeway CEO Ed Newton, said: “The people who arrive at our safe houses, many of whom are British, and who have experienced modern slavery abuses, have experienced violence, trauma, and sometimes decades of forced labour. They need time to recover, they need to have their stories listened to and believed, and they need to be treated with compassion.

“We believe the government should stop scapegoating the victims of modern slavery, and should instead focus their attention on the criminals and gangs who are committing human trafficking abuses, and exploiting others for their own profit.

And instead of bracketing modern slavery as an ‘immigration’ issue, it should be given the attention it deserves as a human rights violation, and a new Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner should be appointed as soon as possible.”