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Good practices - In the UK, trafficking identification and asylum procedures can be conducted simultaneously

From the TRACKS research key findings it was highlighted that in some of the country contexts, being treated as an asylum seeker and being treated as a victim of trafficking is mutually exclusive and people must choose which process they will enter and forfeit any entitlements from the other process. In light of this, it is viewed as Good Practice that the UK allows both the identification as a victim of trafficking and the asylum procedures to be conducted in parallel.

Asylum seekers who during the asylum process are suspected as having been trafficked, may be offered the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) and can therefore receive the additional outreach support provided through the NRM care and support package. Conversely, people who enter the NRM but who may also have grounds to apply for asylum may also apply for asylum while in the NRM. In case both procedures run at the same time, the Home Office (which is the determining authority in both the NRM and the Asylum processes) should not make a negative decision on an asylum claim until the trafficking case has been concluded.

 

This practice is of particular interest and demonstrates the possibility for the trafficking identification and asylum procedures to be conducted simultaneously without harming the right of victims of trafficking to be formally identified, and eventually recognised as such, and to apply for international protection. There are aspects of the system in the UK that require improvement, as evidenced in the consolidated report and key recommendations. However when compared to other countries, the opportunity to be identified as a victim of trafficking and receive appropriate support in accordance with that process, while at the same time also being provided the chance to avail of the right to claim asylum, is seen as good practice.