H (by his litigation friend) (appellant) –v- Swindon Borough Council (respondent)

Tuesday 16th November 2021

The Claimant in the proceedings before the High Court, seeks permission to appeal the Order of Mr Michael Kent QC, sitting as a High Court Judge, dated 19 November 2020.

On 22 January 2020, the UK’s single competent authority determined that the Claimant is a child victim of human trafficking. The trafficking was found to include forced criminality in the UK. On 4 February 2020, the Respondent (the children’s services authority responsible for the Applicant’s care) completed a statutory assessment, by which it concluded that the Claimant is very vulnerable towards further criminal exploitation and trafficking.

The Judge held that the Respondent breached its duty to initiate an assessment of the Applicant under section 47 of the Children Act 1989 within a reasonable time of the communication to the Respondent by the Single Competent Authority of the conclusive grounds decision on 22 January 2020 that the Claimant is a victim of modern slavery.

The appeal raises a question of law: which state body bears the principal responsibility for the protection duty under article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in relation to child victims of trafficking?

View hearing:

Part 1

Part 2