Court of Appeal

Home Office discriminated against lone parent trafficked asylum seeker

The High Court has ruled today that the Home Office unjustifiably discriminated DPG client, EH, by refusing to pay her dependents’ trafficking support payments just because she was an asylum seeker.

The current system of support for trafficked people provides for payments for dependant children. However if those people are asylum seekers they are prohibited from accessing such support.

In a detailed judgment Mr Justice Kerr found that the Home Office’s Modern Slavery Act guidance which excluded asylum seeking victims of trafficking unjustifiably discriminated against this group who are mainly women. The Home office admitted that it treated this group of trafficked women differently but told the court that despite this they should not be entitled to any remedy. The Court disagreed and granted a declaration that the Home Office had breached Article 14 of the ECHR (read with Article 4 ECHR and Article 1, Protocol 1) and should pay compensation to include the amount of back payment due. The judge found that the Home Office’s treatment of the Claimants was ‘egregious’ and that it had not ‘shown a reasonable foundation for the difference in treatment.’

The judgment can be accessed here.

DPG’s Zubier Yazdani said:

“this is yet another judgment against the Home Office for their failure to implement a fair system of support for vulnerable groups. The body of evidence obtained in support of this case was compelling. We are grateful to those organisations who provided supporting evidence which included the Helen Bamber Foundation, ATLEU, solicitors, and mental health professionals.”

Zubier Yazdani, Partner at Deighton Pierce Glynn, was instructed in this claim and assisted by Ralitsa Peykova. Deighton Pierce Glynn instructed Chris Buttler QC and Ayesha Christie  of Matrix Chambers who were also instructed by Simpson Millar who represented the co-claimant, MD.

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