Who can refer a potential victim of modern slavery (including child criminal exploitation) under the National Referral Mechanism framework?

Things to consider:

In England and Wales, a ‘first responder organisation’ is an authority that it authorised to refer a potential victim of modern slavery into the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). Anyone can refer a potential victim of modern slavery to a first responder organisation. A full list of statutory and non-statutory first responder organisations can be found on the government website.

If you think the potential victim is under 18, you must always refer them to the NRM. Child victims do not have to consent to be referred into the NRM and must first be safeguarded and then referred into the NRM process.

Local authorities (children’s services and youth offending services) are first responders and should be approached where the victim is a child. If the child is not known to the local authority, you should consider making a safeguarding referral to the local authority children’s services. The Salvation Army is a first responder organisation that provides specialist support for adult victims of modern slavery.

Further resources: YJLC legal guide on Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) provides legal and non-legal professionals with detailed information on how to assist and/or represent children who have been exploited and are charged with offences arising out of that exploitation.