What is the National Referral Mechanism?
The National Referral Mechanism (NRM) which is a two stage process, is a framework for identifying victims of human trafficking and ensuring they receive the appropriate protection and support.
All child trafficking victims must be referred into the NRM whether they consent or not and in addition to the care and protection they receive through statutory child safeguarding procedures. Adult victims must give their consent prior to a referral being made.
The referring authority, known as the First Responder will submit referrals to the National Crime Agency Modern Slavery Human Trafficking Unit (formerly known as UKHTC.)
The MSHTU is one of two Competent Authorities, the second being UKVI. In the first instance, all referrals should be submitted to the MSHTU, who will transfer referrals involving all non-EEA nationals to UKVI for case assessment and decision making.
These two Competent Authorities are responsible for decision making in relation to whether a person is deemed to be a victim of modern slavery.
First Responders Include:
The CA has 5 working days to decide whether there are reasonable grounds to believe the individual is a potential victim of modern slavery.
During a 45 day period, information is gathered to ascertain whether the individual is a potential victim of modern slavery. From this, a Conclusive Grounds decision will be made. The first responder and individual will be notified of the decision. What happens after depends on the individual’s wishes.
Duty To Notify
From November 2015 specific public authorities have a statutory Duty to Notify the Secretary of State of any individual suspected as a victim of slavery in England and Wales. This duty is set out in Section 52 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
For Statutory Guidance on Duty to Notify and the Duty to Notify Form click here.