Updates, commentary, training and advice on immigration and asylum law

Home Office rebuked for failing to protect trafficking victim


Older content is locked

A great deal of time and effort goes into producing the information on Free Movement, become a member of Free Movement to get unlimited access to all articles, and much, much more


By becoming a member of Free Movement, you not only support the hard-work that goes into maintaining the website, but get access to premium features;

  • Single login for personal use
  • FREE downloads of Free Movement ebooks
  • Access to all Free Movement blog content
  • Access to all our online training materials
  • Access to our busy forums
  • Downloadable CPD certificates

R (CP (Vietnam)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWHC 2122 (Admin) is an example of disgraceful treatment of a trafficking victim by the Home Office. Decision-makers repeatedly ignored evidence that the claimant might be a victim of trafficking, which led to him falling back into the hands of traffickers who then coerced him into cannabis production. Shockingly, after his arrest and conviction, the Home Office then detained and tried to deport the claimant because he had committed a drug offence. CP was detained for 70 days until the High Court forced the Home Office to release him.

Karon Monaghan QC, sitting as a deputy High Court judge, ruled that the original decision to refuse to recognise CP as a victim of trafficking was irrational, unfair and a breach of Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Significantly, the judge held that the human rights breach occurred because the Home Office had failed to comply with its positive procedural obligation towards possible victims of trafficking to investigate properly. Until recently it was thought that the duty to investigate was solely based on the need to identify and punish perpetrators of trafficking. This case confirms that the Court of Appeal decision in R (TDT) v SSHD [2018] EWCA Civ 1395 has widened the scope of the protective obligation towards victims of trafficking to the extent that now it may by itself create a duty to investigate.

Finally, the judge found the entire period of detention to be unlawful because the Home Office had unlawfully delayed making a decision to recognise that the CP might be a victim of trafficking. She held that the Home Office would not have detained him but for their own unlawful act and therefore he is entitled to substantial damages.

Relevant articles chosen for you
Alex Schymyck

Alex Schymyck

Alex is a barrister at Garden Court Chambers