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CONTENTS > What is human trafficking? > Anti trafficking policy and work > The UK Government contract > The Salvation Army victim support service > Supporting victims since 1885 > Types of human trafficking > Trafficking statistics > Interviews with trafficking victims

> WHAT IS HUMAN TRAFFICKING? Human trafficking in its simplest terms is when a person is deceived or taken against their will, sold and moved to a new location to be exploited. Adult victims of human trafficking are trafficked all over the world to work for little or no money – including to, out of, and within the UK. Since 2000 there has been a widely agreed definition of human trafficking, which is found in the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (The Palermo Protocol). There are three core elements: 1. ‘Trafficking in persons’ shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, 2. by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person 3. for the purpose of exploitation.


The Palermo Protocol also stipulates that where a victim may have been compliant or have given consent to exploitation, this is irrelevant where coercion, deception or intimidation has been used.


A large amount of human trafficking happens across international borders; however trafficking not only happens cross-border but also from one location to another within the same country.

> THE SALVATION ARMY POLICY The Salvation Army is an international church and charity working in 124 countries, with more than 800 sites in the UK and Republic of Ireland. The Salvation Army has an effective and very well established structure nationwide, with the ability to provide a central point for the management of, and feedback from, victim support services. The Salvation Army believes that victims of human trafficking need and deserve high-quality practical and non-judgmental support to recover and gain back control over their own lives. The aim of immediate and intensive support is to provide victims of human trafficking with the best possible chance of recovery and to restore each individual’s dignity and freedom. The Salvation Army’s support offers unconditional assistance and is available to any trafficked adult in England and Wales, irrespective of race, gender, religion, sexuality or immigration status.

> THE UK GOVERNMENT CONTRACT In 2009, the UK implemented the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (ECAT). The Government signed up to the legally binding convention to provide a minimum level of assistance for trafficked victims, including identification, protection and support. In July 2011, and in adherence to ECAT, The Salvation Army commenced the delivery of the Government contract to provide accommodation and tailored support for adult male and female victims of all types of human trafficking across England and Wales. The contract is managed by the Ministry of Justice.


To provide the best possible service to the largest number of victims, The Salvation Army co-ordinates provision of care for victims with diverse specialist sub-contractors. This allows flexibility, a greater range of service provision and a tailored service according to individuals’ needs. Sub-contractors have a range of experience working with trauma, sexual abuse, problematic alcohol or substance use, aggression, and mental health issues.


> THE SALVATION ARMY VICTIM SUPPORT SERVICE The Salvation Army’s specialist support programme is designed to preserve the dignity of victims, protect and care for them in safe accommodation and provide access to confidential client-based support services including: • Legal advice

• Health care

• Counselling

• Educational opportunities

HOW THE PROGRAMME WORKS: Frontline staff (First Responders) who find reasonable grounds for concern that a person may be a victim of trafficking refer the potential victim of trafficking to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). More information about the NRM can be found here: 1. THE ESCAPE FROM EXPLOITATION Once a victim has been referred, a needs and risk assessment is carried out. 2. SECURE ACCOMMODATION Victims are transported from their place of rescue to safe and secure accommodation, where they will be cared for. 3. RECOVERY AND REFLECTION Case workers at the accommodation work sensitively with clients to assess their need for the tailored support services listed above. 4. SUPPORT AND EXIT PLAN While the client remains within protection, a decision will be made by trained specialists (Competent Authorities) within 45 days as to whether the client is a victim of trafficking.


The Salvation Army has a long history of supporting victims of trafficking. The Eliza Armstrong Case, 1885 In 1885, Florence and Bramwell Booth (pioneer Salvation Army officers) and William Stead (editor of a large London news paper), campaigned together to raise awareness that women and girls were being bought and sold into sexual exploitation in Victorian England. To expose the trade, the campaigners ‘purchased’ a thirteen year old girl, Eliza Armstrong, from her parents as an example. Eliza was then sheltered in a Salvation Army safe house in France. WT Stead and Bramwell Booth were sent to court, however Stead’s articles on The White Salve Trade caused a sensation. The Salvation Army continued campaigning and were instumental in the age of consent being raised from 13 to 16 years old. The Salvation Army continues the battle against human trafficking today.

> TYPES OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING Individuals may be trafficked within, out of and into the UK for a number of different exploitation purposes. This includes prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs. Exploited individuals may be forced into: sex work or sexual services i.e. prostitution forced marriage forced begging and criminal activity i.e. growing cannabis; ATM theft forced labour i.e. factory work producing food, clothing and goods; working in a restaurant or shop; working on a farm removal of organs domestic service Data from The Salvation Army service shows 43% of those using the service have been exploited for forced labour, 45% have been trafficked for sexual exploitation and the remainder have been exploited for domestic servitude and other purposes, including criminal activity and the removal of organs.

> HUMAN TRAFFICKING STATISTICS Due to the hidden nature of human trafficking, it is difficult to measure the full extent of the problem, the exploitation suffered by victims, its causes and its consequences. However, in the first six months of manging the government’s contract, The Salvation Army supported 190 adult victims of human trafficking.

IN THE FIRST TWELVE MONTHS OF THE GOVERNMENT’S CONTRACT The Salvation Army and its partner organisations supported 378 trafficked individuals in England and Wales.

156 male victims 222 female victims

> INTERVIEWS WITH VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING Due to the traumatic psychological effects of trafficking and the vulnerability of our clients, The Salvation Army is unable to offer external interviews with or questioning of clients. This is, understandably, to protect and maintain the security, safety and wellbeing of clients. Trafficking victims are men, women and children of all ages. There is no typical victim and some victims don’t understand they are in fact a victim of trafficking who is entitled to support and help. INTERVIEWS WITH CLIENTS The Salvation Army has carried out interviews with a number of its clients with their full understanding and consent. These interviews enable The Salvation Army to evaluate the service it provides along with its partner organisations, and to make sure individuals are getting the support they need.

Nine victims of trafficking who have used the Salvation Army’s support service have been interviewed, representing a mix of women and men, countries of origin and type of exploitation suffered. Victims and service providers have not been identified to protect and maintain their identity. Interviews took place just before or just after exiting the service.

> ARRIVAL AT THE SAFE HOUSE Some clients had low expectations of the service because of the way in which they had been treated by their traffickers. ‘I was expecting them to treat me as a piece of trash… I tell you the truth, they treated me as if I am a human being… Anything I wanted from them or any assistance, be it my immigration status, be it my going out, be it anything that will make me happy, they stick their neck out and go to extra lengths – they make me realise that people are different.’ MOST WERE JUST RELIEVED TO FIND SUPPORT ‘Loved, cared for. I have someone to support me.’

> CHALLENGES OF LIVING IN A SAFE HOUSE While interviewees expressed appreciation for the staff of the safe house, there were inevitably some challenges in living in communal housing where the aim was for them to move on after a minimum of 45 days. ‘When I came to the house, there was this group of girls, these other six girls. And I got so close to them, and they to me, and their time and their paperwork were done. And they had to leave. And I was left behind. So, it’s really hard.’ ‘I lived in the house in a different culture because I am from a different country. We do quarrel, which is a normal thing when you are living with other people. But just a minor one.’ ‘Of course it takes time to settle, time to get used to things. But that is the only thing, that’s quite normal, I think.’

> FEELING SAFE A number of interviewees emphasised their need to feel physically secure. ‘Just knowing I was safe. No one could come in at all. I think that was the best thing that could ever happen to me… because I wanted to have a door which I can lock. Obviously. Who wouldn’t want that?’ ‘I’m not afraid in the house. I could find a job and I have some help.’ ‘You could probably imagine I was so in shock that I couldn’t describe it any more than that. Any they just like helped me try and get up, just get me talking and just being more friendly.’ AFTER THE INTERVIEW, THE INTERVIEWEE SAID THAT HE SLEPT FOR THE FIRST 24 HOURS HE WAS IN THE SAFE HOUSE BECAUSE HE FINALLY FELT SAFE.

> RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE STAFF Clients felt that safe house staff made every effort to build constructive relationships. ‘They take you private, and they talk, and they ask if you have any needs, if you have any preferences in food, and everything, you know? They listen, if you want to share your story, they listen.’ ‘It was stressed by the staff that this is my home and they want me to feel at home here. They asked me a lot of questions, if I needed anything, or I needed to see a doctor. I had a problem with my eye. And we went to a GP straight away and I got the medication.’


The approach of the sub-contractors has been to empower service users rather than create a new set of dependencies. An awakening sense of rights and possibilities was expressed by a number of interviewees. ‘That I could pull my life back together so quick - I was quite surprised, I thought it would take a lot, lot longer to pull it back together.’ ‘I’ve learned that I have the right to be with other people and to do whatever I want to do. That’s the experience I have got from being here. I have a right to do this. It is my right.’ ‘Yeah, I realised that what happened to me was unjustified and shouldn’t have ever been done. But like I say, I learned that I was a person when I was in there, but I’m more of a person now. I’m so determined that it would never happen to me again.’

> MOVING ON For some, moving on was a matter of sorting out practicalities before embarking on an independent life, for others there were still anxieties about safety and support. ‘Now I receive my working visa finally. And I also received my National Insurance number – yesterday, in fact. And now, I am going to Housing.’ ‘They have not left us on our own. We finish with you, you can go. No. They always want to ... make sure that where you are going is safe.’ ‘I’m glad I was getting back to normal. And I was so happy because it was a move forward. Because I always think that if I move forward, the people who did it to me – it makes me win and them lose.’

> HOPE AND A FUTURE ‘I am assuming that in a month or so I will have a job, I will have my own place, and this is how I plan to start my life again… I am the kind of person that is always organised and I always have a plan and always want to do something… But I do see myself with a good future.’ ‘I don’t really have a future and I don’t really hope for something. Because the way things about me right now are very complicated, I don’t really think of anything particular in the future.’ ‘I just want to learn English, that is the most important thing. And I want to have a job.’ ‘Definitely I would have a job, that would be the main thing. Possibly rent a place or possibly go for a mortgage. And probably have a big holiday at the end of the year as well. Because I think I might need one [laughs] by the time all this is finished. Basically just going back to normal, like what everyone else goes for.’ ‘Making sure what happened to me will never happen to me again. Which is the goal. And obviously talking to my family again, which is a bit difficult at the moment. But eventually just working that way.’

Anti- Human Trafficking Fact File  
Anti- Human Trafficking Fact File  

A fact file explaining The Salvation Army's work with victims of Human Trafficking in the UK and Ireland