Human Trafficking Foundation


Improving Victim Support


The Trafficking Survivor Care Standards were developed in conjunction with experts in the anti trafficking sector with the aim of providing a blueprint for UK-wide service providers offering high quality care to adult survivors of modern slavery, including trafficking. The Standards provide a flexible framework with guiding principles and practical recommendations that support agencies can incorporate into their own existing policies and procedures. The ultimate goal is to promote an integrated, holistic and empowering approach that places the real needs of survivors at the centre of the process of sustained recovery, far beyond the ‘reflection period’.

In October 2017 the government committed that he Trafficking Survivor Care Standards would be included in the next statutory Victim Care Contract. In preparation for this the Foundation is currently reviewing and updating the Standards, together with experts from the sector. We will republish the updated standards during 2018. 

You can download the current Care Standards here. If you would like to order a hard copy, please contact There is a suggested donation of £5 per copy to help cover the cost of printing and postage. 


Together with the London Working Group, the Foundation has produced several resources to help Local Authorities improve their response to human trafficking and modern slavery, in particular the identification and support offered to adult survivors. Find out more here

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The National Referral Mechanism is the system by which potential victims of trafficking receive access to support and are identified as victims of trafficking. After being referred to the NRM, a Reasonable Grounds decision is made on the basis of ‘suspect but cannot prove’ that the individual is a victim. If this decision is positive, the individual is offered safe house accommodation, specialist support and legal aid for a guaranteed 45 days or until a Conclusive Grounds decision is made that he or she has been trafficked.

Crucially, once this Conclusive Grounds decision is made support is abruptly withdrawn: if negative, the individual has 2 days to leave the safe house; if positive, they have 2 weeks. This early and sudden removal of support unfortunately leaves victims vulnerable and damages their ability to rebuild their lives.  

The Foundation has produced the following policy documents on long term support needs:


Life Beyond the Safe House (2015) urges the Government to review its approach to move-on support for survivors of modern slavery to help survivors recover from their experiences and integrate into society. This would help reduce the risk of re-trafficking. The report makes clear that a cohesive approach to victim support would mean survivors would be more likely to recover and regain control over their lives, and become more confident and independent, which in turn will allow them to become active members of society. 

Day 46 (2016) followed the lives of survivors after they left the safe house. The research found that a quarter of victims disappeared after being rescued: of 73 potential interviewees, a few months after exiting the shelter, 18 were completely unaccounted for.  Jess Phillips MP, Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery describes the report as a “damning indictment of our failure to protect victims of trafficking”

Long-Term Support Recommendations (March 2017): The Foundation has  worked with partners throughout the anti-trafficking sector who support survivors of trafficking during and after the NRM process or who operate at a policy level to produce practical policy recommendations to support the reintegration and rehabilitation of adult survivors of trafficking. These were published in March 2017. One of the key recommendations is that identification as a victim of trafficking should automatically entitle the individual to remain in the UK for a minimum of 1 year, with recourse to public funds and access to further support.