Last updated 14/07/2021
Decisions about who is recognised as a victim of modern slavery or trafficking are made by trained specialists in designated Competent Authorities.
Who are the Competent Authorities and which cases do they consider?
The UK Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC) within the National Crime Agency and the Home Office are the UK’s 2 designated Competent Authority decision makers under the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) (excluding for pilot cases – see Future changes to the NRM).
The UK Human Trafficking Centre
All referrals to the NRM from first responders must be sent to UKHTC initially. UKHTC also manages the data on NRM referrals.
UKHTC makes reasonable and conclusive grounds decisions on all cases involving:
- a UK national
- an European Economic Area (EEA) national (except where there is a live immigration issue)
When UKHTC receives a referral relating to an EEA or non-EEA national who is subject to immigration control, they will refer the case to the Home Office Competent Authority, who will make the reasonable and conclusive grounds decisions.
If a case involves a non-EEA national with no active immigration issues, UKHTC also refers the case to the Home Office Competent Authority who will make the reasonable and conclusive grounds decision.
The Home Office
Modern slavery may be raised as part of an asylum claim, or another immigration process. The Home Office therefore has a number of Competent Authorities. These currently include:
- UK Visas and Immigration NRM HUB (Leeds (England cases)
- Cardiff (Wales cases)
- Glasgow (Scotland and Northern Ireland cases)
- Third Country Unit
- Detained Asylum Casework
- Criminal Casework (dealing with deportation cases relating to EEA and Non EEA nationals)