Modern Slavery Survivor Story- Igor

A family man with 2 young daughters, Igor* worked as a labourer and driver back home in Hungary. In 2013 Igor became unemployed and struggling to provide for his family, he responded to an online job advert offering well paid work in the UK with flights and accommodation arranged for him.

He arrived in the UK August 2013 but found himself with other men sleeping on the floor of an overcrowded and unhygienic house. The men were picked up in vans each morning and taken to work in factories every day for up to 20 hours per day, whilst being paid only around £10 per week. Intimidated and threatened with violence by the traffickers, Igor ran away with a friend and approached police. With help from national charity Hope for Justice, they were moved to a safe house in Birmingham where they were able to stay for a few weeks before moving into a shared house.

Igor’s wife and daughters joined him in the UK at the start of 2014 through fear of the traffickers finding them in Hungary. Meanwhile Igor assisted the police with their investigation and was an important witness in the trial against his trafficker, who in early 2014 was sentenced to 5 years in prison.

Despite having leave to remain there were delays with Igor receiving benefits of any kind and the family were initially denied Local Authority housing. They found themselves in a temporary hostel and struggling to find school places for the 2 girls.

When Igor was referred to Jericho he had begun to receive housing and was in the process of appealing the council’s housing decision. However, his confidence was low, English was basic and he was struggling to provide for even the food needs of his family solely on Job Seekers Allowance.

Jericho supported Igor for five months and he progressed into full time construction work. 

*Name has been changed

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