United Kingdom: High Administrative Court finds that the Home Office failed to identify and protect a victim of human trafficking

Monday, August 6, 2018

On 6 August 2018, the England and Wales High Administrative Court ruled in case R and Secretary of State for the Home Department and found, inter alia, that the Home Office failed to identify and protect a Vietnamese national as a potential victim of human trafficking, by not diligently examining his case and by unlawfully detaining him.

With respect to the lack of protection granted, the Court took into consideration the fact that the Home Office ought to have taken general knowledge regarding trafficking and re-trafficking of young Vietnamese men into consideration, particularly their work in cannabis farms. Furthermore, the Court reiterated the positive obligations on States to investigate cases of alleged trafficking and to identify those responsible for the trafficking. In this respect, it found violations of Article 4 of the ECHR by specifying that the investigative obligation under Article 4 of the ECHR is targeted at bringing traffickers to justice, not identifying victims.

Moreover, the Court held that a referral to the National Referral Mechanism - which is the body responsible for the identification of trafficking victims in the UK - should have been made quicker and that there was a considerable delay in the processing of the claimant's trafficking claim, notwithstanding that the Claimant was in detention.

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the weekly ELENA legal update. The purpose of these updates is to inform asylum lawyers and legal organizations supporting asylum seekers and refugees of recent developments in the field of asylum law. Please note that the information provided is taken from publicly available information on the internet. Every reasonable effort is made to make the content accurate and up to date at the time each item is published but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE.




Trafficking in human beings