Best Practise when Working with Survivors

Best Practise when Working with Survivors

Professionals of all disciplines who work with survivors of trafficking and modern slavery should adopt and incorporate the following minimum professional standards into all aspects of their work:

  • Accessibility and non-discrimination: making sure that survivors are treated fairly and with dignity. Service provision should be diverse, inclusive and flexible to meet the various requirements of each person.

  • Human rights-based approach: support should never be contingent upon a survivors’ ability or willingness to cooperate with the authorities.

  • Holistic and victim centred approach: survivors must be placed at the centre of any decision- making process and support must be prioritised in accordance with their individual needs.

  • Empowering approach: recognise that survivors are individuals with goals, dreams, and aspirations, provide support in a way that recognises individual strength, resourcefulness, and resilience as well as vulnerabilities and difficulties.

  • Freedom of thought, religion, and belief: signpost to pastoral care or religious support if requested.

  • Multi agency approach

  • Professional boundaries

  • Safe working approach

  • Trauma-informed approach

  • A Safe, Calm, Consistent Environment and Approach

The Slavery and Trafficking Survivor Care Standards (2018)

How to Advocate for a Survivor

Respect confidentiality: do not let boundaries slip. Be considerate of the people you are talking with and how easily conversations could slip into confidential territory.

Believe and validate: Survivor might have had bad experiences with people advocating on their behalf in the past. Believe and validate their experiences at every opportunity.

Acknowledge injustice: A survivor may need your support due to previous or current injustices, i.e. not getting something they are entitled to. Ensure you have explored all areas, not just areas they think they need advocacy in.

Respect autonomy: At times, you may not agree with the decision of a survivor, but if they are informed, and have the capacity to make decisions, you must allow the person to make the decision. You are not there to make decisions for the survivor.

Always plan for the future, not just the present: Advocacy is a process, not an event.

Promote access to services: Always empower survivors to access all the services that they are entitled to in a proactive and positive manner.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs


Ethical Storytelling and Cultural Awareness