It looks like you are using an out of date browser.
Please update your browser in order to use this website.

Case Studies Daniel’s story

Daniel’s story

Daniel* and his family arrived in the UK from South America with the promise of good work in construction and a better life, having paid nearly £15,000 to some men he thought he could trust. Sadly, Daniel soon realised it was all a lie. He was put to work for a popular food delivery service, doing very long shifts with no control or access to his own wages. He was abused by his perpetrator, who would threaten his family if he didn’t work.

“The more I paid these men, the debt would just increase,” he said. “There were moments when I didn’t even know what to do anymore. I didn’t have anything to eat at home. There were weeks when we had just £10 to spend for the whole week.”

“I was scared for my life because there were threats against it. There were police reports showing all these [text] messages, everything that was said. We were really scared. I was abused verbally and also physically, and there was a moment when my wife was taking my son to school and she was stopped by one of them and they told her ‘tell your husband not to tell anyone anything, not to open his mouth or to share any information, or the worst will happen.'”

After several months of living in constant fear, Daniel bravely disclosed his situation to the person from whom he rented a caravan, and the police intervened. Daniel was referred to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) as a potential victim of human trafficking but, despite the NRM provider’s attempt, they received a negative reasonable grounds decision and the family became homeless.

They were left on the street during the winter, with temperatures often below freezing, without any support.

A charity in the area contacted Hope for Justice that same night and asked for support. We assisted the family with accessing emergency accommodation and they were housed immediately.

“We are very grateful for Hope for Justice, and we are thankful they supported us in some of the hardest times of our lives and didn’t give up on us when we had nowhere to go.”


Daniel and his family were extremely vulnerable. They didn’t speak much English and feared being deported due to not having valid visas. They also feared for their safety after receiving the news that a close family member had been killed in their home country, which they were scared was linked to Daniel having escaped and spoken to the police.

The Hope for Justice team got to work gathering further evidence to submit a reconsideration request and getting Daniel’s family necessities like food vouchers, phone access and legal advice.

After six long weeks, the original NRM decision was overturned and our teams were able to advocate for Daniel* and his family to access further support including legal aid for their asylum case.

The family were overjoyed when they received the great news of the positive decision. Daniel said: “We are very grateful for Hope for Justice, and we are thankful they supported us in some of the hardest times of our lives and didn’t give up on us when we had nowhere to go.”

He explained: “Sometimes people have a blindfold on their eyes and can’t see the truth what is happening. But I want to encourage them to take their blindfold off, to end their fear and have the courage to seek out for help.”

Daniel said he wanted to share his story in order to “inspire other people to do the same so they can receive the help they need to change their lives”.

He said: “The UK is a wonderful country – just to be able to talk to the police, to talk to some of these organisations like Hope for Justice that will help you to become free again, as I am now. I am not scared anymore. I feel free.”

*Name and nationality changed to protect survivor’s identity

young girl