It is with great pleasure that we announce that our Birmingham-based public law director Ahmed Aydeed has won the Marsh Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Fight Against Modern Slavery 2019 at the Human Trafficking Foundation’s annual Anti-Slavery Day Awards.
Held at Speaker’s House in the Palace of Westminster, the awards – in partnership with Marsh Christian Trust - the Human Trafficking Foundation’s Anti-Slavery Day Awards recognise individuals and organisations in the public, private, and voluntary sectors that go above and beyond expectations in fighting modern slavery and human trafficking. The award for Outstanding Contribution to the Fight Against Slavery acknowledges the work carried out to combat modern slavery both in the UK and internationally.
Ahmed’s recognition should come as no surprise, the work he has carried out has been instrumental in combatting modern slavery and human trafficking, resulting in major positive implications for both his own clients and others who have been subjected to slavery. His focus is not only on the prevention of modern slavery and trafficking, but also on creating a more positive future for those who have been subjected to such practices.
Notable is his recent successful challenge to the Home Office’s policy that cut off all statutory support to slavery victims in the UK after just 45 days.
Understanding that relief to those who have endured trafficking and slavery should not be limited to a six week period, Ahmed issued proceedings against the policy on behalf of two clients, NN and LP, both victims of trafficking whose specialist support was due to end as a result of this rule.
The Home Office eventually conceded that the 45 day policy was unlawful and incompatible with the Trafficking Convention and agreed that support should be provided to victims on the basis of their individual need rather than by any time limit or any reference to how long the individual has been supported. The significance of this outcome in relation to generic interim relief is cannot be stressed enough, with the Home Office required to immediately extend assistance to all trafficking and slavery victims in need of support in England and Wales. Already, over 600 individuals have benefited from Ahmed’s work.
Such expertise in this subject has not gone unnoticed, and earlier this year Ahmed was invited to give evidence at the Home Affairs Committee’s Modern Slavery Inquiry which looked in to the progress being made since the Modern Slavery Act 2015 came into force.
We are incredibly proud of the work Ahmed has carried out and the consequences his efforts have generated. The fight against modern slavery and human trafficking continued but it is thanks to the commitment shown to its eradication by the likes of Ahmed and all those recognised and honoured at the Anti-Slavery Day Awards that progress continues to be made and victims can begin their recovery with support and assistance.
Ahmed is thoroughly deserving of the Marsh Award and sets an example to all those wishing to join in the endeavour to eliminate human trafficking and modern slavery in the UK and around the world. We offer huge congratulations to Ahmed and applaud all of the winners and nominees at this year’s Anti-Slavery Day Awards.