Hope for Justice and fellow charity Migrant Help have been collaborating closely in our work in Lancashire and North-West England.
EU Nationals who are victims or survivors of human trafficking or modern slavery often have vulnerabilities which make it more likely that they have missed out on applying to the UK’s Government EU Settlement Scheme and going through the formal process.
There are many people with specific circumstances for whom the original application deadline of 30 June 2021 does not apply, and the Government also allows applications from people who can show ‘reasonable grounds’ for the late application. This includes medical conditions, care needs, domestic violence and coercive control, and other “compelling practical or compassionate reasons”.
Hannah Mitchell, Lead Community Engagement Specialist at Hope for Justice’s North West Hub said: “We have seen in many of our cases people extremely vulnerable to exploitation when they have not had support or advice in this area, and are therefore not able to receive welfare benefits, housing assistance, or safe work.”
Lyudmila Neilson is an EU Settlement Scheme client advisor with Migrant Help, supporting vulnerable EU citizens and their families to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. She said: “I work alongside Hannah Mitchell at Hope for Justice. It is beneficial for us as Hope for Justice works with survivors and victims of human trafficking. Collaborating alongside Hope for Justice helps to ensure that EU Nationals that are victims or survivors of human trafficking or modern slavery understand their rights, and that we can assist them with all matters relating to their rights to resign in the UK.
Hannah Mitchell added: “This partnership is essential in preventing modern slavery. Being able to refer in to Lyudmila and trust that she will be flexible and go above-and-beyond to support our clients has been amazing! We know the risk of future re-exploitation for individuals is significantly reduced when this support is in place.”
Migrant Help has a webpage offering EU Settlement Scheme Advice and Guidance.