Compensation awarded to trafficking victims left in limbo due to unlawful home office policy

Two survivors of trafficking who successfully challenged a Home Office policy which was found to discriminate against trafficking victims who also had applications for asylum, have been awarded damages for the breach of their Human Rights.

Our clients, the Claimants in the leading case JP and BS v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWHC 3346 (Admin), successfully challenged the lawfulness of the Secretary of State’s policy that, in the case of a victim of trafficking who is also making an application for asylum, the Secretary of State will not determine the victim’s application for a residence permit under Article 14(1) of ECAT before making a decision on the asylum application.

The court held that the Defendant breached the rights of our clients under Article 14 (read with Articles 4, 8 and A1P1) of the ECHR, contrary Human Rights Act 1998, s6.

Our clients’ cases proceeded to a further hearing to establish the amount of damages payable to them for the breach of their rights which, during the long periods they remained in limbo, caused both clients financial loss and psychiatric injury.

On the morning of the assessment of damages hearing, the Home Office settled both cases, awarding substantial compensation.

Other victims of trafficking who have been affected by this unlawful policy will need to press their individual cases in order to secure recourse.   Unfortunately the Home Office continues to apply an unlawful policy in this respect, but it can be challenged on the basis of this case.

The barristers instructed in these claims were Chris Buttler and Zoe McCallum of Matrix Chambers and Graham Denholm of Doughty Street Chambers , instructed by DPG partners Adam Hundt and Ugo Hayter who were assisted by trainee Althia Stephens and paralegal Bryony Goodesmith.

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