Since 2021, TRIBE Freedom Foundation has been supporting Justice and Care to develop and expand their outstanding Victim Navigator programme. This project sees specialised team members embedded in police forces across the UK, helping to bridge the gap between victims of slavery and the criminal justice system.
Recently, Justice & Care’s Victim Navigators have been supporting two males working for a trawler company in Scotland.
Initially the victims rang a UK charity helpline to explain their situation and seek support. They said that they were working extensive hours, more than 300 in one particular month, yet being paid very little – approximately £2 per hour. Police visited the boat and found these two male crew members, who were both willing to engage with the police and give initial statements. Both men soon entered the National Referral Mechanism.
Justice & Care’s Navigators have worked closely with Stella Maris, a charity supporting seafarers and fishers worldwide. They have helped to find support for the men and solutions to their working situation as well as sourcing appropriate clothing for winter.
They have since worked with the relevant Embassy and Stella Maris to repatriate the men home to their families. Before they returned, the men were given conclusive grounds and applied for discretionary leave in the UK which was granted.
Since returning to their home country the men wish to return to work in the UK. Our Navigators are working with the Freedom Fund to find an appropriate NGO that will support them. They are also helping them to access English lessons before they return to the UK to work.
The trawler company in question is known for exploitation and remains under investigation.