Trafficking victim wins court battle as UK immigration rules condemned

14 Feb 2018 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A man who was sold into slavery as a child has won a court battle as three judges condemned “unlawful” UK immigration rules for trafficking victims.

Senior Appeal Court judges have officially overturned two decisions from the Home Office in a case brought by a 40-year-old trafficking victim from Ghana.

In their ruling, the judges stated that current UK immigration guidance imposed “too high a threshold” when it comes to the personal circumstances of the victims.

Lord Justice Hickinbottom, Lord Justice Singh and Lord Justice Patten all agreed that current Home Office rules fail to meet Britain’s responsibilities under the Council of Europe’s Convention on human trafficking.

Specifically, they labelled as “unlawful” a Home Office decision to suggest that the man could receive treatment for his related post-traumatic stress disorder and depression in Ghana, and as such refused his residence permit application in both 2013 and 2015.

Commenting on the case, Lord Justice Hickinbottom said: “On any view, the appellant’s story of being the victim of human trafficking is a terrible one.”

He added that the current guidance does not require those deciding the fate of trafficking victims to consider whether they should be allowed to remain in Britain to ensure their protection and assistance as they recover.

He continued: “As a result, in my view, it does not reflect the requirements of (the convention) and is unlawful.”