Next steps for the Competent Authority if the Conclusive Grounds decision is negative
Last updated 23/09/2021
The Competent Authority must have all necessary information before making a negative decision. Before the Competent Authority decides that there are not conclusive grounds to accept a person as a victim of trafficking or modern slavery, they must discuss the case with the relevant interested parties to make sure that all available information has been gathered, for example:
- the support provider
- the police
- First Responder
- Local Authority (in the case of children)
In cases where it is likely that the person will be refused, the Competent Authority should interview the potential victim, unless either:
- all of the relevant questions have been asked as part of the asylum process
- you have commissioned another frontline agency or the support provider to ask any outstanding questions on your behalf
If the Competent Authority decides that there are not conclusive grounds to accept the person is a victim of human trafficking or modern slavery, the Competent Authority must not offer any further support for a further recovery and reflection period (including further Temporary Admission (TA) or Temporary Release (TR) in order to receive support as a victim).
Actions for Home Office and UKHTC where the Conclusive Grounds decision is negative
Action 1: record the decision
Update CID with the conclusive outcome ‘Not Trafficked’. (Home Office action only).
The Competent Authority should draft a minute explaining the reasons for the negative conclusive grounds decision and keep it on file
They must send the minute of reasons to the victim.
The decision minute should clearly indicate the outcome being made on the case:
Scotland and Northern Ireland – insufficient evidence to recognise the individual as a victim of human trafficking.
England and Wales - insufficient evidence to recognise the individual as a victim of modern slavery.
Complete the decision letter.
The Home Office and UKHTC use the same decision letter: UKBA NRM 08 (ICD 4056 on CID Doc Gen).
The decision letter should include a full and detailed consideration explaining the reason for the decision in every case.
(Home Office only) Where the Home Office is a Competent Authority and there is a live immigration case the decision letter should also offer assistance in making a voluntary return (if there are no reasons to remain).
Action 2: notify the victim of the decision
Issue the decision letter (NRM 08) including minute of reasons to the adult victim concerned or through their appointed representatives, where applicable (or Local Authority in the case of a child victim).
The Competent Authority must not serve a decision letter or other human trafficking or modern slavery papers on a child under any circumstances. All human trafficking or modern slavery papers must be served on the child’s appointed representative or the Local Authority.
Live immigration cases will contain further details in Home Office decision letters.
Action 3: notify agencies of the decision
The Competent Authority must notify the following of their decision using NRM 05:
- the first responder (all cases)
- support provider (all supported adult cases and family cases) and the Salvation Army if supported in England and Wales), TARA or Migrant Help if the adult is being supported in Scotland or Migrant Help or Women’s Aid if the adult is being supported in Northern Ireland)
- the Local Authority (in the case of children)
If the Home Office is the Competent Authority they should also notify the UK Human Trafficking Centre of their decision in all cases using UKBA NRM 09 (ICD.4460 on CID Doc Gen). (Home Office action only)
Action 4: notify agencies of the decision where there are criminal proceedings
If the potential victim is the subject of criminal proceedings several agencies need to be notified as soon as the conclusive grounds decision is made.
The Competent Authority should ensure that the police (National Human Trafficking Unit in Scotland) are notified of the conclusive grounds decision as soon as they make it.
The Competent Authority must use notification letter UKBA NRM 05 for the police or contact them by email or telephone as appropriate.
Generally the Competent Authority should ask the police to notify prosecutors (the Crown Prosecution Service (or the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscals Service in Scotland or Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland) of the conclusive grounds decision as soon as they make it.
Home Office Competent Authority next steps for live immigration cases following a negative Conclusive Grounds decision
If the Home Office is the Competent Authority they will need to consider additional next steps in live immigration cases once a negative conclusive grounds decision has been taken.
This section does not apply to UKHTC. Pilot panel decisions with live immigration issues will need to be referred to the Home Office to take appropriate immigration steps.
Action 5: process any outstanding asylum/immigration applications
If the Home Office is the Competent Authority a positive conclusive grounds decision does not result in an automatic grant of immigration leave. The person may have an outstanding asylum claim or other application outstanding which should be determined.
Only those with a positive conclusive grounds decision may go on to be considered for discretionary leave based on criteria set out in the trafficking Convention. Those with a negative conclusive grounds decision will not receive a consideration based on this criteria. But see Victims of modern slavery who enter the NRM in Scotland and Northern Ireland for a exception to this approach in specified cases.
Action 6: inform the victim about a voluntary return
As potential victims may wish to return home at any point, the Home Office must inform them of the opportunity and options available to make a voluntary return. Support providers may also discuss this with the potential victim. It is important that you involve victims in the process of return as soon as possible as this will aid their return and empower them to take control once they have returned.
The exact voluntary return programmes available may vary from time to time so potential victims should be provided with details of any relevant Assisted Voluntary Returns programmes available at the relevant time. Not all schemes will apply to all potential victims eg in criminal cases.
There may also be voluntary return packages available specifically for trafficking victims, in which case the Home Office must ensure that the victim is informed of these.