Modern Slavery

Our Modern Slavery Service provides support to potential and confirmed victims of modern slavery and human trafficking who are homeless in Westminster. Our holistic support includes basic needs, signposting to First Responders, emergency accommodation, health and mental health support and care. The Passage also has a Anti-Slavery Coordinator and Modern Slavery Navigator, unique in the homeless sector, who works in partnership with Westminster City Council.

This service continues to operate as usual during the pandemic.

  • The Passage Modern Slavery Handbook 2020

    The Passage’s Modern Slavery Handbook – updated for December 2020
    Read more
  • The Passage Modern Slavery Service Annual Report – April 2020 to March 2021

    Read more
  • Responding to Modern Slavery and Exploitation within the Homelessness sector

    Read more
  • The Passage Report 2017: Understanding and Responding to Modern Slavery in the Homelessness Sector

    Read more
  • Modern Slavery Multi-Agency Case Conferences at The Passage, evaluation Report from November 2018 to December 2019

    The Passage established a Multi-Agency Case Conference (MACC) approach to safeguarding potential victims of modern slavery, trafficking and exploitation who are homeless, including people with…
    Read more

Case studies from Modern Slavery victims

Peter

grew up in a large family, he had an abusive Father who wouldn’t let the children go to school and made them work on the family farm instead. When Peter was old enough, his Mother told him to get away and make a life for himself. He left his home and took a labouring job with a family of travellers in London.

The family he worked for kept him captive for over 20 years, he was forced to do hard manual labour without pay and made to fight other men for money. He was physically assaulted regularly and his caravan was guarded by dogs who would try and attack him if he attempted to leave. He was forced into criminal activities and theft.

One day, Peter injured his shoulder and had to go to hospital, the Doctor told him that he shouldn’t be doing any more physical labour. He was no use to the family anymore and they took his caravan and left him homeless and alone.

When he arrived at the Passage he was frightened and anxious. He was identified as a victim of modern slavery, staff supported into the NRM and he went to a safe house. Peter didn’t cope well at the Safe house and left to go in search of his Aunt who lived near the sea. He found her and spent many happy months living with her, she bought him a dog and he was about to start college, he finally felt like his life was coming together.

Unfortunately, he couldn’t stay with his Aunt due to the type of tenancy she had and he came back to The Passage for help. Peter was in a really bad way when he returned, he had recently lost his Mother and was too ashamed of his situation to get in contact with any of his family. He hadn’t spoken to many of them for years. He was having numerous hospital admissions, was anxious, depressed and suicidal.

The Passage supported him into a temporary respite bed in a supported hostel whilst they worked on a housing application with a local authority. After a lot of setbacks and hurdles, Peter was finally offered temporary accommodation in the seaside town near his Aunt. He was supported to the new accommodation by staff and the change in him when he arrived there was instant.

Peter has now got his own tenancy; he is on the ground floor and has a patio, so his dog is able to live there with him. He enjoys daily walks on the beach and has joined the local gym. Peter has bought a smartphone and is now in regular contact with his family via FaceTime, he is making plans to go and visit them for the first time in many years. Peter also plans to go to college to learn how to read and write.

Peter said The Passage staff were his –

“Guardian angels. Thank you for believing in me and never giving up. You have changed my life and I will never forget you. I couldn’t have done it without you and The Passage has turned my life around. I finally feel like myself again.”

“Before this, I couldn’t see a future and everything felt hopeless, now I am finally able to look forward to things again and I am excited about the future.”

Sylvia

Sylvia presented to The Passage with complex mental health problems including memory loss. The Passage supported her for seven months with suitable accommodation (B&B then a hostel specialising in mental health support), primary services, social care and support, mental health support sessions, cooking and painting activities. The Passage also looked for her family at Sylvia’s request.


Eventually Sylvia recovered and was able to tell her story. She did not remember how she arrived in the UK. She only remembered she was in a church when two men offered her shelter and protection. They took her to a house and forced her to work in various restaurants as a cleaner.

One of the men raped her. Then she was placed in a private house and forced to work as housekeeper. She was never paid and only given leftovers. More than a year later she fled the house and slept rough several nights until finding The Passage. Sylvia realised that she had been a victim of a serious crime and agreed to report to the police.


The Passage facilitated the interview with the Met police and she was referred to the NRM. The Passage provided specialised pre-NRM support for another three weeks until she was placed in a safe house.


Meanwhile The Passage found her daughter who had been looking for Sylvia the last two years. She immediately flew to London and was finally reunited with her mother.