Human trafficking offences may involve adults, or specifically women or children – often with a view to exploiting a vulnerable individual for the purposes of modern slavery, the sex trade, bogus marriages or even as an organ donor.
The Palermo Protocol provides the first internationally recognised definition of human trafficking:
Trafficking in persons shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.
Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or removal of organs.
The UK has stepped up surveillance at ports and airports to identify individuals being trafficked into the UK and across the EU or beyond the EU – and the penalties for human trafficking or “people smuggling” can involve a long prison sentence.
Human trafficking prosecutions are brought under the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc) Act 2004 – Section 4 of the Act specifically relates to “Trafficking people for exploitation”.
The trafficked individual is considered exploited if their rights under Section 4 of the Human Rights Act 1998 are breached.
In some cases of human trafficking, where a trafficked individual is forced into bonded labour or the sex industry, charges may also be brought under the Modern Slavery Act 2015, which consolidates offences involving human trafficking and slavery.
Human trafficking or people smuggling charges may also apply to those who agree to transport migrants into the UK in vehicles or boats.
Section 25 of the Immigration Act 1971 also creates an offence of assisting unlawful immigration – called facilitation.
Allegations of involvement in human trafficking are very serious and require the expertise of a specialist criminal solicitor with expertise in defending human trafficking charges and cases involving the Human Rights Act.
Duncan Lewis criminal solicitors can advise on charges relating to human trafficking before a charge is brought – or if there is a possibility a client may face interview under caution in a human trafficking police investigation.
Human trafficking cases are usually complex and involve more than one jurisdiction.
Duncan Lewis has successful departments covering criminal defence, immigration, employment, child care and Human Rights legislation – all of which may be relevant to a case involving allegations of human trafficking, modern slavery or sexual exploitation.
The Duncan Lewis Crime Department is ranked in Legal 500 2014 for its General Crime and White Collar Fraud Work.
Duncan Lewis crime lawyers have acknowledged expertise in case building based on a sound knowledge of the criminal justice system – and the ability to assemble compelling evidence and documentation in criminal cases involving human trafficking allegations.
Duncan Lewis represents clients at Police Stations, Magistrates’ Courts, Crown Courts, and at Appeal Courts such as the Court of Appeal – and has highly experienced Higher Court Advocates with a background in conducting serious matters such as murder and rape.
Clients do not have to wait until they have been arrested to contact Duncan Lewis about any criminal charges – our team can advise from the initial stages of a police inquiry, or if it is likely a client may be arrested to face a criminal charge involving human trafficking.
Duncan Lewis crime lawyers can also advise on Civil Liberties matters such as wrongful arrest, false imprisonment and prisoners’ rights in custody – as well as advising on appeals against conviction or sentencing for human trafficking convictions.
All Duncan Lewis criminal solicitors are highly trained and highly experienced – and are dedicated to offering the best criminal defence services to our clients at police stations, courts and prisons.
There are Duncan Lewis offices nationwide – including more than 20 offices across London and the southeast and in all major cities across England and Wales.
A member of the Duncan Lewis criminal defence team can usually reach a client at a police station or court within 45 minutes to offer expert legal advice on all criminal charges and for police interview under caution.
We aim for the best possible outcome for clients facing charges relating to human trafficking, modern slavery or sexual exploitation – call Duncan Lewis any time on 020 7923 4020 for expert legal advice.
For 24/7 help at a police station in England and Wales, call the Duncan Lewis Emergency Hotline on 020 7275 2036.
Duncan Lewis is a leading provider of Legal Aid criminal defence services –Legal Aid is means tested and may only be available in certain circumstances.
Duncan Lewis can advise further on Legal Aid at the initial client meeting.
In cases where a client may not be eligible for Legal Aid, Duncan Lewis criminal solicitors offer competitively-priced fee levels for private client representation – with fixed fees and advance notice of any costs whenever possible.
In some criminal cases, after the event insurance may be an option and Duncan Lewis will advise on an appropriate level of insurance to cover the potential costs of defending a criminal case and to pay any costs imposed by the court.
Call Duncan Lewis Criminal Solicitors to discuss human trafficking charges on 020 7923 4020.