Case Study – Step By Step

Now in his early 50s, IS was trafficked from Hungary into the UK in 2009. He found himself working 5-6 days a week doing manual labour for 8-9 hours a day. All this was for just £15-20 a week.

Amongst other tasks he was asked to drive for the people exploiting him, and ended up being imprisoned for driving offences which he had not understood that he was committing. He tried to leave but with only very limited English found it almost impossible to get other work. IS was also suffering from alcoholism and so needed even that little money from the traffickers to be able to buy alcohol – he was trapped.

Finally, his traffickers abandoned him and he became homeless. He was identified as a potential victim of trafficking by a local homeless shelter in 2014 and began to receive support but continued to struggle with alcoholism and unemployment.

IS was referred to Jericho by Hope for Justice in early 2016 and relocated to Birmingham from the North East to begin part time paid employment in our Landscaping business in February. He moved into supported accommodation in a shared flat, together with 2 other Hungarian survivors (also at Jericho) and a number of other men.

Progress has been slow but steady for IS. His very minimal English has made it more difficult for him to engage with colleagues, as well as to navigate general support services available. He has also been very open about the fact that he continues to battle with an alcohol dependency. Initially this meant that he frequently missed days of work, and there were a number of days where he admitted he had been drinking before work or was suffering ill health as a result of drinking.

With encouragement and support, IS has now been to the Dr and is hoping to be referred for support, together with appropriate interpretation, to begin to address his alcoholism. At Jericho, we have continued to welcome him on days he is able to come and to praise and encourage him on days when he is fit for work. These are becoming more and more frequent as he develops his trust and confidence and begins to feel the benefits of employment and interaction on his mental health.

IS has been encouraged to participate in weekly ESOL lessons to improve his very limited English but he has so far struggled to do this without the support of his 2 Hungarian friends. We will continue to encourage him in this, but are thrilled to see that he is making more of an effort to communicate in English with others at work as we see his confidence growing, and he has become a valued member of the staff team.

It is a long journey ahead for IS but every week at the moment sees him taking steps in the right direction and, in the words of his support worker at Hope for Justice, “Jericho has now provided him a great opportunity to get back on his feet.”

#birmingham #charity #socent #landscape #humantrafficking #modernslavery

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