Six men rescued last year were still waiting for a ruling midway through 2018

Suspected victims of modern slavery in the UK have been further traumatised by long delays in the Home Office ruling on their status, despite the government saying decisions should be made as soon as possible after people have been referred into its rescue mechanism for a 45-day recovery period.

The Guardian learned last month of six west African men who were rescued from British trawlers in 2017 and referred to the Home Office’s national referral mechanism (NRM) as suspected victims of trafficking for labour exploitation. Six months into this year they were still waiting for the Home Office’s visa and immigration department to process their cases. A few days after the Guardian began making inquiries about the delay, the Home Office granted them all leave to remain.

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