Hounga v Allen: Child victim of trafficking denied remedy by Court of Appeal

[2012] EWCA Civ 609

The Claimant who has learning difficulties was brought to the UK under a false passport when she was fourteen to work as a domestic worker. She was promised schooling and £50 a month wages but received neither. She was subjected to severe physical abuse. Following a final beating she was thrown out onto the streets. The immigration authorities found that there were reasonable grounds to believe that she was a victim of human trafficking. (There was no higher form of protection available under the law then in force).

She applied to the Employment Tribunal seeking compensation from her trafficker.

The Court of Appeal overturned the decisions of the Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeal Tribunal and found that because she had no right to work in the UK, she had no right to protection under race discrimination legislation.

The Claimant has been granted permission to appeal to the Supreme Court on the illegality point. A hearing is expected in March 2014.

David Reade QC and Niran da Silva of Littleton Chambers are instructed to act for the Claimant. Micheal Reed of the Free Representation Unit represented her at the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal.

The case is being funded by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission.


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