Law centres in call for better protections for trafficking victims

South West London Law Centres is calling for better protection for victims of human trafficking, instead of the Home Office’s threat of deportation to Rwanda.

Trafficked: Mo Farah has said that he was brought to England as a child, separated from his family

SWLLC says that the UN World Day Against Trafficking in Persons this Saturday will shine a spotlight on the prevalence of human trafficking and shows that more must be done to protect victims.

The immigration team at South West London Law Centres regularly represents young people with experiences of human trafficking similar to that recently reported by Mo Farah.

“Many have been disbelieved and let down by the state,” the SWLLC says.

“For some, the abuse they suffered and resulting lack of care received has left them emotionally damaged and liable to re-trafficking.”

Paul Keeley, an immigration solicitor at SWLLC, has successfully represented multiple clients over the years where it’s been accepted that the effects of trafficking led to being re-trafficked. He told Inside Croydon, “What Sir Mo’s story highlights so clearly is how victims of trafficking find it extremely difficult to talk about their experiences and how long it can take for them to open up.

“We may never know who is vulnerable for many years until it is too late. Why would victims of trafficking come forward if they’re threatened with removal to Rwanda?

“Until we see a more certain route to leave to remain for victims of trafficking, many will have no choice but to remain with their traffickers, as Sir Mo did for so long,” Keeley said.

South West London Law Centre is a community-based legal practice and a registered charity. SWLLC dates back to 1974, but in 2004 was extended through the merger of law centres in Croydon, Merton, Kingston, Richmond, Sutton and Wandsworth.

SWLLC helps people understand and enforce their legal rights. In doing so, they try to address the root causes of social injustice – poverty, family breakdown, unemployment and exploitation. SWLLC provides full legal casework, representation and advice in Community Care, Debt, Employment, Housing, Immigration and Asylum and in a limited way in Welfare Rights. They represent clients in all courts and tribunals.

In the past year, they have helped 6,664 people through casework and representation, being the housing duty solicitor schemes at Croydon, Kingston and Wandsworth County Courts, giving emergency representation in possession hearings for rent and owned homes and at the warrant stage for evictions, and through our pro bono schemes.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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