Human Trafficking Foundation


British Red Cross

The British Red Cross is part of the world’s largest independent humanitarian network, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which comprises more than 17 million volunteers across 190 countries. The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement consists of three separate components: Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies, of which British Red Cross is one; the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC); and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The British Red Cross has been working to support people who have been trafficked in the UK for a number of years and also supports the wider Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement by providing services, funding and technical expertise, to strengthen the Movement’s response, and support trafficked people around the world.

Our Mission is thatany person who is trafficked and exploited will be recognised, supported and protected.’ This is strongly aligned with our corporate strategy ‘Refusing to ignore people in crisis’ and our key corporate objective to ‘Reduce destitution, challenge stigma and help displaced people feel in control of their lives develop new support for victims of human trafficking and call for national policy changes’.

The British Red Cross focusses on the provision of care and support to trafficked people and advocates for this to be more prominent (as often prosecution and enforcement dominates discourse). We focus on filling gaps in the provision of statutory support and advocate for improvements on this. Lastly, we aim to strengthen the sector and enable other organisations to carry on their work by working in partnership and through partners.

The British Red Cross’ domestic work on anti-trafficking has always been concentrated on:

  • Supporting both, trafficked Refugees and Asylum seekers, as well as EU nationals through the Refugee Support casework service, destitution assistance, signposting and referrals, group work activities.
  • Supporting trafficked people seeking to trace their family through the International Family Tracing service, or seeking reunification with family through the Family Reunion service.
  • Supporting potentially trafficked or exploited people supported in Emergency Response (Crisis Response) Rest/Reception centres when police conduct operations to disrupt criminal activity

We aim to ensure consistency of all of the Red Cross anti-trafficking work and that all Red Cross staff and volunteers are equipped to spot signs and aware of the internal referral pathway. We are continuously working to enhance our care and support to trafficked people through the Red Cross casework model of providing support to empower trafficked people to help them make their own choices and regain control. We will continue to develop our rest centre response – to improve the wellbeing of trafficked people who leave their exploitative conditions and use our voice to advocate for more proactive ways of helping people to leave exploitation. Another large part of the work that we do is enhancing our advocacy and communications so that we continue to be a voice in the sector and advocate about the issues we’re seeing.

In late 2014 the PROTECT Project (Oct 2014-Sep 2016 EU funded) acted as the first building block to consolidate all British Red Cross anti-trafficking work. An anti-trafficking team was established who are now the focal point for all trafficking related matters across all services. Two training modules were created – one for all British Red Cross staff and volunteers to increase their awareness about trafficking, and another for BRC Refugee Support caseworkers who support trafficked people. A wide range of guidance documents, procedures and referral pathways and better data gathering tools were also created – that enabled us to have a better picture of the numbers of trafficked people we are supporting.

In 2015 British Red Cross started the Your Space project. Originally piloted in the East Midlands, the purpose of the project is to provide initial accommodation and casework support to potentially trafficked or exploited people who need time and space before making a choice about their next step. We provide information about the National Referral Mechanism and other options available to them so that people make their own, informed choice. The British Red Cross are now integrating this as a standard service offer and are gradually developing this in two new areas, with the hope that we will eventually run in all 12 Refugee Support areas.

Started in early 2016, we also have the, mostly research and advocacy based, TRACKS Project (Jan 2016 – Dec 2017 EU funded) that focuses on identifying the issues as well as good practices experienced by trafficked asylum seekers when accessing the asylum system. We believe that Asylum seekers should have tailored support and special measures in place to ensure that they are properly protected and supported. We want to work closely with policy makers and frontline implementers to improve the conditions of asylum for trafficked asylum seekers in the UK.

We aim to enhance our international support by providing support to the wider Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. We co-chair the European Red Cross and Red Crescent Action for Trafficked Person’s Network and other wider initiatives to collaboratively work on anti-trafficking.

Mediterranean Migration: Protection and Anti-trafficking (MMPAT) Project (Mar – November 2017 - DFID) We are supporting the Italian Red Cross to develop their anti-trafficking response through identifying context-specific indicators of trafficking; develop training and deliver it to frontline workers; sensitising them to trafficking and how to recognise its indicators. The programme will engage with anti-trafficking networks, and develop and implement internal Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to ensure referral to relevant services within the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) in Italy. Finally, the programme will disseminate information on trafficking and related risks to vulnerable groups.

 STEP Project: Sustainable integration of trafficked human beings through proactive identification and enhanced protection (Mar 2017 – Feb 2019 / European Commission’s AMIF programme) The project was designed in in the context of the refugee crisis and to address the increased migration flow across Europe. STEP will bring together a transit country (Croatia), a transit and destination country (France) and two destination countries (UK and Netherlands). Activities include the development of an EU wide anti-trafficking platform, inputting into the development and implementation of a longer-term care and support programme for trafficked persons in the UK, as well as materials used to sensitise asylum seekers about trafficking and the guidance materials for frontline workers. The work in the UK will focus on identifying the gaps in the current integration mechanism and provide longer term support for trafficked Human beings. The learning will be shared with other countries.


Kathryn Baldacchino, Anti-Trafficking Programme Manager


Mobile: 44(0)7872839866 / DL: 44(0)2078775026

Valeria Ragni, Anti-trafficking Advisor (International)


Mobile: 0044 (0) 07808243716 / DL: 02078777151

General enquiries: