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

“Near Breaking Point”: urgent changes needed to support victims of modern slavery


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

Kalayaan, a small but mighty charity that works to provide advice, advocacy and support services in the UK for migrant domestic workers have recently updated their 2023 report on the state of the system for identifying victims of modern slavery, with 2024’s National Referral Mechanism: Near Breaking Point. The particular problem that they highlight and are seeking to change is the need for the government to train and recruit more First Responder organisations (these are the ones that are able to refer a potential victim into the National Referral Mechanism to have their trafficking case considered).

The Nationality and Borders Act 2022 has had an impact here, as the raised evidential requirements for the first stage (reasonable grounds) decision mean that each case requires much more work. The increase in negative reasonable grounds decisions has meant that more reconsideration requests need to be prepared and submitted. All of this additional work leaves less resource to help those who need to enter the system.

Case studies are provided to highlight the dangerous situations that some victims are in as a result of the inability to find a First Responder to get them into the system and access the support that they need and are entitled to.

Kalayaan’s recommendations in full are:

  • Consider and decide on existing applications from specialist front line organisations to become a First Responder Organisation
  • Establish a recruitment process without further delay for prospective organisations to be able to apply
  • Develop and maintain a nationwide training programme for both statutory and non-statutory First Responder Organisations
  • Provide funding for First Responder Organisations to carry out their roles
Relevant articles chosen for you
Sonia Lenegan

Sonia Lenegan

Sonia Lenegan is an experienced immigration, asylum and public law solicitor. She has been practising for over ten years and was previously legal director at the Immigration Law Practitioners' Association and legal and policy director at Rainbow Migration. Sonia is the Editor of Free Movement.