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Human Trafficking

The AIRE Centre runs a specific project providing advice and assistance to victims of human trafficking including representing victims before the European Court of Human Rights. More information on the project can be found on our Human Trafficking page.   

Cases where the AIRE Centre has Represented the Applicant

Third Party Interventions

Cases where the AIRE Centre has Represented the Applicant

L.R. v the United Kingdom  (49113/09): In this case The AIRE Centre, working with Clara Connolly at North Kensington Law Centre and Raggi Kotak of 1 Pump Court Chambers, successfully obtained a Rule 39 interim measure from the European Court of Human Rights preventing the expulsion of L.R., a trafficking victim, from the UK to her country of origin, Albania, where she was at significant risk of harm from her own family and from those who had trafficked her. The case is unique because it involves the State’s obligations to a trafficking victim who cooperated with the police but whose cooperation, through no fault of her own, did not lead to a conviction, leaving her particularly vulnerable to retaliation from her traffickers.  The case was resolved by means of a friendly settlement.  Under the terms of the friendly settlement, the applicant was granted refugee status and therefore is protected from return to Albania.  The European Court accordingly struck the case out of its list on 14 June 2011.

M v the United Kingdom (16081/08): The AIRE Centre, working with Catherine Robinson of Fisher Meredith LLP and Parosha Chandran of 1 Pump Court Chambers, secured a friendly settlement for the Applicant, who was trafficked as a child from Uganda to the UK and exploited in to prostitution here.  The UK had refused to grant her residence status in the UK despite the real risk of ill treatment if she returned to Uganda.  The Applicant was granted three years’ leave to remain.

Osman v Denmark (38058/09):The AIRE Centre is representing a Somali national who had been living in Denmark from the age of seven and who was expelled from various schools.  At the age of fifteen, she was taken by her father to Kenya for what she (and her mother) thought would be a short stay with her paternal grandmother.  Instead, her father left her in the Hagadera refugee camp for over two years, where she provided round-the-clock care to her very ill grandmother.  She then left the camp and tried to apply for a new entry visa to return to her mother and siblings in Denmark, but was refused: under Danish law, her residence permit had lapsed, and in the meantime Danish immigration law had changed and she was now too old to be eligible for a new entry visa.  On 14 June 2011, the European Court delivered its judgment in which it found that the refusal to re-instate the applicant's residence rights in Denmark violated Article 8 of the Convention.  The AIRE Centre had identified the applicant as a victim of human trafficking, although the Court found that the Danish authorities did not have to take this into consideration (because it had not been raised in the domestic proceedings).  The Court, however, considered that the fact that the applicant was forced to stay in the refugee camp and look after her grandmother for over two years was crucial, and found that the Danish authorities should have taken this into account, instead of simply treating this as a matter of her father's exercise of parental responsibility.

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Third Party Interventions

Rantsev v Cyprus and Russia (25965/04): The AIRE Centre intervened in this case as a third-party, providing the Court with information on the obligation of States to protect victims of trafficking. The Court found trafficking to be a violation of Article 4 and applied the principle of the positive obligation of States to the protection to be afforded to trafficking victims.

C.N. v the United Kingdom (4239/08): This case concerns a Ugandan national who was assisted in travelling to the United Kingdom where she was subsequently forced into domestic servitude for various employers. She was never paid for her work, was threatened with violence and was driven to and from her employer’s home by her exploiters. The AIRE Centre submitted a third-party intervention on the various strands of Article 4 following the Rantsev case, the concept of control and the positive obligations placed on States under international law instruments.

Kawogo v the United Kingdom (56921/09): The AIRE Centre has been granted permission to submit a joint third-party intervention in this case with Kalayaan. This case involves issues of forced labour and servitude prohibited by Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Applicant in this case is a Tanzanian national who was brought to the UK by her employer’s on a domestic worker visa and was then put to work in her employer’s parents’ home. The Applicant was never paid for her work, which lasted for over a year, and was not permitted to leave the house.

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