The UK government established the NRM to do two things:
- To assess whether a person believably fits the definition of trafficking given by the United Nations.
- To provide support to a potential survivor whilst they wait for this decision to be made.
How does a person enter the NRM?
To be referred to the NRM, potential victims of trafficking or modern slavery must first be referred by people known as 'first responders'.
Some first responders include:
- Police forces
- The National Crime Agency
- UK Border Force
- Home Office
- Local Authorities
- Salvation Army
- A number of other NGO's
*The Snowdrop Project is not a first responder
The NRM is a voluntary process for adults and can only be carried out if a potential victim gives their permission, however consent is not needed for a child referral. Once the first responder has completed a referral form they will pass the case to the Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking unit who will determine which competent authority should look at the case.
What are the outcomes of the NRM?
Competent Authorities will initially make a 'Reasonable Grounds' decision within 5 days of receiving their referral form. This is a fairly low assessment of a person's situation and if it is granted a person can then access all the intensive support listed below.
Following a positive reasonable grounds decision, the competent authority then considers the case in further details to reach a final 'Conclusive Grounds' decision. This decision is supposed to be made within 45 days of the reasonable grounds decision, however, over average take 90 days.
If a person is not believed to have been trafficked, they receive a ‘negative’ decision and the support comes to an end in 48 hours.
If it is believed they have been trafficked, they receive a ‘positive' decision and they can continue to access support for a further two weeks.
Whilst a person is in the NRM, they are entitled to the following intensive support:
- Safe accommodation
- Material Assistance
- Psychological Assistance
- Medical Treatment
- Language Support and Translation
- Assistance regarding legal rights
How are the decisions made?
The two Competent Authorities in the UK are:
The Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Unit (MSHTU) - makes the decisions on all cases involving UK or a European Economic Area nationals.
The Home Office Visa and Immigration (UKVI) - makes a decision for an EEA or non-EEA national who is subject to immigration control.
What happens after the NRM?
Once an individual receives a decision, negative or positive, all governmental support ends abruptly. This leaves survivors vulnerable to a host of issues including: re-exploitation, homelessness and ongoing mental health problems.
After experiencing intensive and vital support in the NRM, survivors are left without needed support to rebuild their lives again.
“there is very little structured support for confirmed victims once they have been given a Conclusive Grounds decision…The journey from being a victim to becoming a survivor is unique for each individual and without the right support in place, it is a journey many individuals cannot make” – Read the full (2017) report from the DWP enquiry
We work to support survivors post NRM, find out more here.
If you think someone is a potential victim of human trafficking, and they want to be referred to the NRM but you are NOT a first responder you can call the Salvation Army’s anonymous referral hotline on 0300 3038151.