Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking
Forcing someone to do something they do not want to do is modern slavery. It can also be a form of human trafficking.
Cases often involve threats of violence and physical injuries caused by merciless beatings. Typical examples include:
- Being forced to work (often without pay).
- Being forced into a marriage.
- Having to move into a country or around it against your will.
Free help and confidential advice on modern slavery and human trafficking is available from several organisations, including:
- National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux
- Modern Slavery Helpline
- The Salvation Army Christian Church and Charity
- Victim Support Independent Charity
Note: Human trafficking and modern slavery are both crimes in the United Kingdom. Do not hesitate to contact the police if you feel threatened by it or you become a victim.
Claiming Compensation for Victim Injuries
There are several ways for the victims of modern slavery to claim compensation in the United Kingdom. In some cases, a claim made through the court would be best. You may also qualify to claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
Note: A legal adviser can explain the different options available (e.g. The Law Society). They can also confirm whether you would have eligibility for legal aid to cover the costs.
Making a Civil Court Claim
A legal adviser can help you to make a ‘civil claim’ through the court. The compensation claim would be for the injuries you suffered. It also applies for victims who suffer psychological pain.
Note: As a rule, you need to make a claim of this type within three (3) years. You can also choose to make the claim yourself (without using a legal adviser). Use the application form N1 (civil procedure rules part 7).
Applying to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority
A claim for a payment from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority may also be an option. They handle cases of compensation for victims of violent crime in the United Kingdom. It may also apply if a friend or a family member died as a direct result of the crime.
You would need to get a Crime Reference Number by reporting the crime to the police before you apply. As a rule, you should make the claim within two (2) years of the incident.
Note: Making an application is free of charge and there is no requirement to use a legal adviser.
Compensation for Unfair Working Conditions
There are several grounds for claiming compensation for unfair working conditions. Being forced to work for free or to work for less than the current National Minimum Wage are the common ones. As a rule, you need to make a claim within three (3) months of the incident taking place or stopping work.
Note: A legal adviser can explain the different options available (e.g. The Law Society). They can also confirm whether you would be eligible for legal aid to cover the costs. You should follow these two steps:
- Inform Acas that you plan to make a compensation claim and get a ‘conciliation certificate’ from them.
- Make a claim to an employment tribunal either online or by postal methods.