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Claiming against the perpetrators

We understand that the most immediate priority for most victims of slavery and trafficking is to have access to a safe and secure status in the UK, the ability to obtain decent accommodation and a source of steady income.

Too many victims of trafficking are forced to return to their previous exploited roles because of the lack of such support. If you are a trafficked person or a victim of slavery you may well need legal advice on a range of issues such as immigration, crime. housing and the welfare provisions available in this country.

However, you can also use the civil law to hold your trafficker or those individuals or companies who profited from your exploitation, to account, to get answers, and to seek compensation for the wrong you’ve suffered.

Compensation can help rebuild lives: enabling access to education, training, medical treatment and therapy. It promotes rehabilitation and prevents re-trafficking. The very act of deciding to sue your abuser can be your first step to taking back power.

What compensation can be claimed?

  • Unlawful imprisonment
  • Intimidation/harassment
  • Assault/trespass to the person
  • Negligence
  • Breach of contract
  • Unfair and constructive dismissal

Compensation claims also punish perpetrators of trafficking and slavery by hitting them where it hurts.  Financial penalties act as a deterrent, making it less likely that others will have to go through the same experiences you have gone through.

Far too often, perpetrators escape with the profits and proceeds of their abuses. We try to use the full force of the law to freeze perpetrators’ assets and ensure that they are available to pay compensation.

Leigh Day also specialises in holding corporations to account for human rights abuses.  We can bring claims against companies profiting from trafficking and forced labour, even where the perpetrator has disappeared.

Case study: AT & Ors v Dulghieru & anor [2009] EWHC 225 (QB)

This case involved the plight of four young Moldovan women who had been tricked and trafficked to the UK, and were enslaved for the purposes of sexual exploitation.  The women were held captive in brothels and forced to have sex with men at the discretion of their captors.  They were harassed and they and their families in Moldova were threatened with violence. The women were often subjected to verbal and physical abuse by the men with whom they were forced to have sex. Once they had been freed the women brought a civil claim against their traffickers. The women's claims were successful and they were awarded more than £600,000 in damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity, unlawful detention and financial losses they sustained as a result of their mistreatment.  

You can talk confidentially to a member of the trafficking team, who will understand and will tell you if we can help. Please fill in our enquiry form and someone will get back to you shortly.

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