High Court rules Trafficking Victims should be allowed to stay in UK

The UK’s High Court has ruled that trafficking victims should be allowed to stay in the country, after having been left in limbo in the immigration system for a number of years.

This landmark ruling will save thousands from fear of being deported back to their home countries where they will more than likely face discrimination, harassment, and even the risk of being trafficked once again.

The court’s decision followed a legal challenge against the Home Office in which a  33 year old Vietnamese woman was forced into sex work by criminals in Vietnam before being trafficked to the UK where she worked in brothels and the production of cannabis.

The challenge against the Home Office was launched when the woman was arrested and sentenced to 28 months in prison.  Her lawyers argued she was a recognised victim of human trafficking and yet was still imprisoned.

Her legal defence and activists campaigning on the matter say she is an example and subject of the so called ‘hostile environment’ introduced by the Conservative party during the early years in government just over a decade ago.

High Court Judge Linden said:”The effect of the refusal to grant the claimant modern slavery leave is that she is subject to the so called hostile environment underpinned by the Immigration Act 2014″.

According to evidence provided to the court her treatment by immigration and home office authorities lead to post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depressive disorder, conditions which have had a devastating impact on her life.

Ahmed Aydeed, the lawyer of the unnamed woman said: “We’re glad our client and other survivors of trafficking will no longer be left to live in this half-world, this legal limbo that has stripped their dignity and exposed them to further exploitation”.

Aydeed went on to say:”Recovery is a vital form of relief for survivors of trafficking and this will go a long way to assist victims in their physical, psychological, and social recovery.  Our client and other survivors will finally have access to education, and training and they will finally have the right to work.  Not only will this assist survivors of trafficking but will also provide a direct financial benefit to the public purse”.