From Forced Labour to a Journey Towards Employment

Survivor’s Background:

M is a 32 year old Lithuanian from a small rural village, his only relative is an elderly father. Having worked as a wood cutter for most of his life he was approached by a trafficker when work dried up, offering work in the UK. M arrived in Manchester in April 2013 and was forced to deliver leaflets all day with no pay. He lived in poor accommodation with only basic food but stayed through fear of becoming homeless.

He eventually summoned the courage to leave and slept rough in Manchester before being identified as a victim of human trafficking by a homeless outreach project. Referred to Hope for Justice, he was helped to access support and moved to a safe house in Birmingham in February 2014. Able to claim benefits for 6 months he progressed to his own accommodation in a shared house, albeit now without the help of a support worker.

M has never reported to the police the details of what happened to him for fear of reprisals against his father in Lithuania, where the traffickers also live.

Progression:

M’s eligibility for benefits was only for the short term and he was referred to Jericho to gain some employment skills, with a view to being able to progress into employment. We were able to offer M a volunteer placement within our Recycling business, assisting with sorting within the warehouse and going out to do collections. We were also able to support him to enrol on a pre-entry ESOL course to begin to develop his English.

Unfortunately, he stopped attending the volunteer placement and we no longer know of his whereabouts. We hope to find sufficient funding in the future to develop our work with this group so that we can do more to maintain engagement.

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