This project examined experiences of access to legal advice among adults with lived experience of modern slavery in the United Kingdom, as well as the impacts of a lack of access to (quality) legal advice on recovery, wellbeing and protection outcomes. The research was funded through an open call under the Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre’s (“Modern Slavery PEC”) Responsive Research mechanism and was conducted by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (“BIICL”) in partnership with Unseen UK and their lived experience consultants group. It builds on the findings of a previous Modern Slavery PEC-funded project, which were published in the 2021 report on ‘Access to legal advice and representation for survivors of modern slavery’. Based on interviews with legal service providers and support workers, that report identified numerous barriers to accessing publicly funded immigration advice, while also highlighting the importance of legal advice for formal identification within the National Referral Mechanism (“NRM”) and achieving a secure immigration status. The present report expands on this study, exploring challenges of access in relation to a wide range of legal issues (including those less commonly considered in the context of modern slavery), while also drawing attention to the broad range of consequences that can flow both directly and indirectly from an inability to receive quality legal advice.

Impacts of a lack of legal advice on adults with lived experience of modern slavery - Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre (Modern Slavery PEC), 2023 DOWNLOAD

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