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Duncan Lewis case challenges gap in support for victims of trafficking following a grant of refugee status (14 January 2020)

Date: 14/01/2020
Duncan Lewis, Main Solicitors, Duncan Lewis case challenges gap in support for victims of trafficking following a grant of refugee status

Once an individual is granted refugee status, they usually have a non-extendable 28 days in which to leave asylum support, as per Home Office policy. As it often takes in excess of 35 days from application for an individual to receive mainstream benefits, this can lead to a gap in support with potentially serious consequences for individuals.

We recently issued proceedings in relation to this gap in support for a confirmed victim of trafficking, who was receiving support by way of asylum support, and who was to lose his accommodation after being granted refugee status, with no alternative being put in place. The SSHD conceded that the duty to support and assist confirmed victims of trafficking does not cease following a grant of asylum, and instead continues on a needs basis, as required by Article 12 European Convention Against Trafficking. In our client’s case this requires the SSHD to continue the client’s asylum support until alternative support is put in place. Please read the order and statement of reasons to this effect.

While there remains a gap in support for non-victims of trafficking confirmed asylum seekers, which Duncan Lewis is also currently challenging with counsel, Raza Halim of Garden Court Chambers, we hope that this case will enable us to ensure that there is no gap in support for victims of trafficking as they move between asylum support to other forms of support.

Legal team: Ahmed Aydeed, Karen Staunton and Eleanor Hanmer from the Public Law department based in Birmingham, instructing Raza Halim of Garden Court Chambers.

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