William Eichler 19 December 2023

Child trafficking victim owed back payments

Child trafficking victim owed back payments image
Image: lazyllama / Shutterstock.com.

A child trafficking victim is entitled to back payments after the Home Office and Barnet Council left him without adequate care and support, the High Court has found.

The ruling comes after the 22-year-old Eritrean national, referred to as AM, won a judicial review of the council and the Home Office’s handling of his case after a hearing in the High Court in July.

AM, who has been granted refugee status in the UK, was left traumatised after suffering repeated episodes of violent exploitation and trafficking as a child.

Mr Justice Lane found that Barnet Council had failed to consider whether AM was a victim of human trafficking and to take this into account when assessing his needs and planning his care.

A Barnet Council spokesperson said: ‘We provide all unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in our care with support, including financial support, counselling and specialist services according to their needs. In this case, which dates back to 2018, the child was also offered support but didn’t always accept it.

‘This was a particularly complex case and, while we are disappointed with the outcome, we will learn any lessons where we can.’

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